California and the International Green Energy Racket

“Electron Laundering”: how British Columbia sells coal energy to California and calls it “green”

Chuck DeVore

Last week, the premier of British Columbia, Gordon Campbell, paid a visit to the California State Legislature. He spoke at length about his province’s green energy partnership with California in supplying California with electricity while helping the state meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.

I listened to the leader of the Western Canadian province of 4.4 million people and I found myself asking, “What is he selling?” So, I decided to follow the money. What follows is a summary of an international green energy scam that costs California taxpayers millions while robbing California of jobs due to higher electricity costs and electricity imports.

The Scam

Decades ago, the West Coast began exchanging electricity. During the summer, when air conditioning use spiked in California, Washington State and British Columbia would ship hydropower down to the Golden State. Later in the year, during California’s mild winters, when rivers levels were low in the Northwest, California would return the favor. The power exchange worked well for everyone.

During California’s 2000-2001 energy crisis, our northern neighbors took Enron-like advantage of us. BC Hydro, a state-owned utility, through its marketing and trading subsidiary, Powerex, aided in the rampant market manipulation that ended up costing California consumers millions. Bill Lockyer, then California Attorney General, sued. In March 2005, Powerex settled and refunded a fraction of the profits they made at the expense of California ratepayers.

The current version of this energy scam is breathtaking in its scope. Further, the victim, California, actually knows most of what’s going on and either doesn’t care or doesn’t want to know the messy details…

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Chuck DeVore is a California State Assemblyman.

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