Expanding, Reinforcing Transmission Grid — In Canada

By September 17, 2009Energy

President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper held a press availability after the two met Wednesday. A passage from the transcript that contained news:

We discussed energy security and climate change. I remind all our American friends that Canada is by far the largest supplier of energy to the United States. And we are determined to be a continental partner in dealing with the joint — with the very linked problems of climate change and energy security. Our two ministers, our respective ministers have provided us with a report on the clean energy dialogue, which I think shows some great progress in identifying areas of joint action. I think the next step will be some specific projects that we can pursue.

Today, Canada is announcing a major hydroelectric project, a big transmission line in northwestern British Columbia, which has the capacity down the road to be part of a more integrated North American hydroelectric system that will be obviously part of dealing with both these problems of energy security and climate change.

From the Prime Minister’s office, the news release, “PM announces Canada’s investment in Northwest Transmission Line.”

From Canadian Press, “Harper announces money for B.C. transmission line that will fuel mining industry“:

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced millions of dollars in funding Wednesday for a long-awaited electricity line in northern British Columbia that has the mining industry dreaming of massive growth in the region.

Harper used a trip to Washington, D.C. to announce up to $130 million in federal cash for the Northwest Transmission Line. The province has already committed $250 million, and the mining industry is expected to pick up the rest of the estimated $404 million price tag.

Good to see the recognition of hydroelectricity as “green power.” But in any case, the important news is the expansion of transmission capacity and the willingness of Canada’s government to support the extractive industries that create wealth and jobs.

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