British Columbia energy report criticised over climate change

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Environmentalists are criticising a recently released interim report by British Columbia's energy policy task force for failing to address climate change. "This energy report should be moving us into the 21st century with a focus on clean, renewable energy," says Dermot Foley, a policy analyst with the Suzuki Foundation. "Instead, the report is dragging us back to the 19th century and the days of coal." The task force focuses on how British Columbia could exploit its vast coal, oil and gas resources. Although it sees "significant potential" in the development of alternative energy sources, the latest report offers few specifics on how to accomplish their use -- in contrast to a strategy just released in Nova Scotia (page 38). Instead it recommends an advisory group be established to provide a "strategic direction" to advance alternative energy in the province. The task force also lays the groundwork for greater involvement of independent producers in British Columbia's power sector, recommending a competitive market for electricity, open access to BC Hydro's transmission system and diversification of the province's energy supply mix, now dominated by large hydro.

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