Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sumas Energy 2 Power Plant controversy

Residents of BC's Fraser Valley have been deeply concerned for over 5 years about the controversial proposal to construct a 660MW gas-fired power plant in Sumas, Washington, directly on the U.S.-Canada border.

National Energy Systems Company
of Kirkland, Washington put forward its proposal to American and Canadian regulatory authorities in late 2000, during the "electric power crisis" which now has been seen as largely associated with Enron's manipulation of electric power markets.

Almost five years after the unveiling of the project - which was successfully lobbied through various Washington State and U.S. regulatory agencies even with strong opposition by environmentalists - SE2 appears to be facing a final series of legal challenges by Canadian authorities.

In 2003, the National Energy Board of Canada effectively vetoed the SE2 project from proceeding by denying SE2's request permission to construct a power line, through British Columbia, connecting SE2 with the regional power grid. On August 6, 2004, Canada's Federal Court of Appeals granted SE2 authority to appeal that decision.

Per the Court's Order and some related rulings, the NEB will conduct an Appeal hearing of its earlier decision. The hearing will be conducted at the Pacific Centre, 701 West Georgia Street, 6th Floor, Vancouver, BC, commencing at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 7, 2005 for a duration not to exceed three days.

SE2 has been an intense hot-button issue for residents of the eastern Fraser Valley area (Abbotsford), particularly as the local geography is prone to air-inversion-related air pollution and there are fears that SE2 may cause serious air pollution hazards to the eastern Fraser Valley.

Here are some links about the SE2 project:
"GASP - Community Health vs. a Huge Power Plant"
"Abbotsford Sewer deal key for Sumas Power Plant"
"We Need Clean Power Now" - SE2 Advocacy Site

I'd like to hear from others who are familiar with this project.