The Clean Energy Campaign
In the early 1980s, SPEC and a coalition of BC activists were instrumental in stopping construction of nuclear power plants on Vancouver Island and uranium mining in BC. Since then SPEC has worked for an energy policy that moves beyond fossil fuels and massive dam projects to clean sustainable energy including solar, wind, tidal and geothermal.
When BC Hydro proposed a 265 mega-watt gas-fired Vancouver Island (VIGP) power plant at Duke Point near Nanaimo in 1999, SPEC activists Norman Abbey and Dyane Brown, with support from Sierra Legal Defence Fund lawyer Tim Howard, intervened with the BC Utilities Commission. Hydro said Duke Point's environmental impact would be minimal and renewable energy was not a realistic alternative to burning fossil fuels. The Duke Point plant would be supplied by a new pipeline under Georgia Strait (GSX) from Whatcom County to southern Vancouver Island.
In 2003, the BCUC agreed with SPEC and thousands of Vancouver Island residents and rejected Hydro’s plans. BC Hydro, however, resurrected Duke Point in 2004 as a private venture. Meanwhile research and development of clean energy in BC lags behind other Canadian provinces.