Region can only benefit by processing copper
BC Hydro ratepayers in Iskut pay the same price per kilowatt for electrical power from diesel generators as do BC Hydro ratepayers already on the BC Hydro centralized power grid.
The Northwest Transmission Line deal sets in motion an era of British Columbia copper concentrate exports to Asian smelters powered mostly by dirty coal-fired thermal electric power generators.
Asian smelter companies then sell the ‘dirty’ copper back to North American markets.
North American weather patterns will experience even greater frequency violent Pacific storms as a result of Northwest Transmission Line-related copper production.
Each open pit mine project proposal connecting to the transmission line adds additional diesel trucking to get copper concentrates to port for export, followed by Pacific shipping using dirty bunker fuel across the Pacific.
While this copper production scenario creates BC trucking jobs, it clearly is not the big picture green infrastructure deserving of federal green infrastructure funds.
Iskut community members will be dying on the ‘highway of death’ as industrial trucking turns a narrow wilderness highway into an industrial haul road to be used 24/7/365 by hundreds of concentrate trucks.
Northwest BC needs to add value to copper production chains, not hydro carbons.
Editor’s Note: James Bourquin has served on a number of regional bodies charged with examining resource development issues and challenges.