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Campbell's Highway 37 plan an expensive way to cut emissions

Premier Gordon Campbell announced today his government is moving ahead with the electrification of Highway 37 in B.C.’s northwest.

The plan is being pitched as both a jobs generator and a blow against climate change.

“According to the Mining Association of B.C.,” Campbell said, “this project has the potential to attract $15 billion in new capital investments and create almost 11,000 jobs, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing the reliance on dirty diesel-electric power for industry and communities in that region.”

But, as The Tyee reported last year, calculations by the Dogwood Initiative environmental group suggest that the government could get communities along the highway off diesel for $22 million or less – as opposed to the estimated $400 million cost of hooking the area up to the grid.

Tom Barrett is a contributing editor at The Tyee.

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