Providing support in energy litigation, negotiation, and research to governments, industries, utilities, and aboriginal peoples from California to Quebec.

 

Providing support in energy litigation, negotiation, and research to governments, industries, utilities, and aboriginal peoples from California to Quebec.

New Media

Opinion: Mythbusters, the BCUC, and the Site C dam

The Vancouver Sun, Roland Willson

International energy expert Robert McCullough, who helped uncover the Enron scandal, points to the falling costs of wind and solar, and believes cancelling the dam will actually save British Columbia up to $4 billion dollars.

Peace Valley Landowner Association lawyer alleges that B.C. Hydro wants to re-open Site C review

The Georgia Straight

We have asked energy expert Robert McCullough to review the November 16, 2017 letter, and he has advised that several of the points that BC Hydro has sought to represent as neutral calculation errors are in fact points that invite substantive counter-argument and evidence, both on substantive input and methodology. If given the opportunity, Mr. McCullough would present persuasive evidence in this regard.

Pressure mounts on government to finish Site C

Business in Vancouver, Nelsen Bennett

American energy expert Robert McCullough, hired by the Peace Valley Landowner Association to challenge the project, says there is no reason the $4 billion cost of cancelling Site C can’t be amortized over 30 years, which would still require a 6% increase.

Cancelling Site C would save British Columbians $8 billion, something McCullough calls a “termination dividend.”

New Articles

Opinion: Site C proponents fall prey to Sunk Costs Fallacy

Vancouver Sun, Robert McCullough

This fallacy, which is related to status-quo bias, can also be viewed as bias resulting from an ongoing commitment. For example, individuals sometimes order too much food and then over-eat ‘just to get their money’s worth.’ Similarly, a person may have a $20 ticket to a concert and then drive for hours through a blizzard, just because s/he feels that s/he has to attend due to having made the initial investment. If the costs outweigh the benefits, the extra costs incurred (inconvenience, time or even money) are held in a different mental account than the one associated with the ticket transaction.

Opinion: Renewables cheaper, more dependable than Site C

The Vancouver Sun, Robert McCullough

The problem with Site C is not that it is a hydroelectric project. The problem with Site C lies in the economics. When Site C was proposed, fossil fuel prices were high. The cost of renewables were twice what they are now. Loads were not increasing terribly rapidly (load growth has been flat in B.C. for the past decade), but the forecasts were very optimistic. It is not an exaggeration to say that everything has changed. Site C is relatively costly compared to the alternatives and very costly compared to the wholesale market. It is in our power to do far more and spend far less.

Trump plan to sell BPA lines misguided

Portland Tribune, Robert McCullough

“Privatization of BPA would increase costs for consumers. BPA currently sells and delivers its power at cost; under a private regime, an investor-owned utility would likely want a higher rate of return.”

New Reports

Updating Bonneville’s Strategic Plan

On November 17, the Bonneville Power Administration presented a new strategic plan to its regional utility customers and other interested participants. The new plan did not focus on the root causes of mounting problems with competitiveness, operational inefficiency, reductions in borrowing authority, or cost control.
In this report, we offer some specific suggestions to Bonneville and to the region’s utilities that are its customers:

1) Submit the Columbia Generating Station (CGS) nuclear power plant to a market test and, if it fails, close the CGS as rapidly as possible thereafter;

2) Re-engineer the Coordination Agreement and the Canadian Treaty to make it easier for the Columbia River’s hydroelectric dams to meet the growing need to back up the variable resources of wind and solar energy; and,

3) Amend the 2008 power contracts to allow for additional loads, revenues, and jobs for the Pacific Northwest.