Capping costs

The provincial government will be spending to $225,000 to commission reports assessing the economic and greenhouse gas emission impacts of various cap-and-trade system scenarios, Public Eye has learned. "We want to be prepared, from a negotiating standpoint, to be able negotiate the best possible cap and trade system on behalf of British Columbians," explained Minister of State for Climate Action John Yap, referring to the province's participation in the Western Climate Initiative. "And we need to have the best possible information to do that." A bid document for contractors to do that work was quietly posted on August 11. The following is a complete copy of the relevant portion of that document.

B. Requirements and Response

1. Summary of the Requirement

The Province is seeking a proponent (or proponents) to provide five detailed quantitative analyses of the impacts of various climate policies on the emissions profile, energy system, and economy of British Columbia. Successful proponent(s) will include at least one individual with a post-graduate degree in energy and environmental economics or a related discipline, and the proponent(s) will have a minimum of five years experience in energy/environment/economic modelling.

The Proponent must provide five, or portion of, detailed quantitative analyses of climate policy impacts in British Columbia with a model, or set of models, calibrated to current historic data and capable of accurately forecasting the microeconomic and macroeconomic dynamics of regional and national energy systems, economies, and greenhouse gas emission profiles to 2050.

The Province is seeking proposals from proponents for all, or part, of the requirements outlined below.

2. Requirements

The following functions are to be done:

1. Calibrate a model, or set of models, capable of accurately forecasting climate policy impacts on technology and fuel choice, energy system dynamics, macroeconomic indicators, and emissions profiles in British Columbia.

a. Model calibration will be based on the most recent data available for key indicators by sub-sector, including; emissions, energy supply and demand, fuel type, intensities, physical output, technology stocks, trade flows, employment, investment, and savings.
b. Model calibration will result in a model, or set of models, capable of forecasting energy end-use dynamics including consumer choice of technology and fuel type, physical output, and technology investment at the sub-sector level to 2050. Preference would be given to the flexibility of representing emerging energy technologies and systems, emissions reducing technologies and fuels to 2050.
c. Model calibration will result in a model, or set of models, capable of forecasting macroeconomic dynamics such as GDP, employment, trade flows, savings, distributional effects, and macroeconomic feedbacks at the sub-sector level.
d. Model calibration will result in a model, or set of models, capable of forecasting the effects of provincial and national scale carbon market designs on the emissions profile and economy of British Columbia. Preference would be given to the ability of also representing other provinces and the United States.
e. Model calibration will be completed with direction from the Ministry of Environment (the Ministry).

2. Complete five comprehensive quantitative analyses that each include a reference case forecast, policy case forecast(s), quantitative analysis of forecasted results, literature review, and final report.

a. A comprehensive quantitative analysis of trade and competiveness impacts that will include assessing the impacts of committed and planned domestic and international climate policies on trade flows and competitiveness impacts of business and industry in British Columbia.
b. A comprehensive quantitative analysis of regional and national cap and trade design scenarios that will include assessing the implications of allowance allocation and design options on the emissions profile and macroeconomic indictors of British Columbia.
c. A comprehensive quantitative analysis of climate policy indicators will include detailed marginal abatement cost schedules at the subsector level, offset supply curves at the subsector level, short term (1-3 year) emissions forecasting indicators, and detailed emissions intensity factors at the subsector level.
d. A comprehensive quantitative analysis of the economic and regulatory barriers to investment and advancement of high abatement potential technologies and processes in British Columbia.
e. A comprehensive quantitative analysis of a set of incremental climate and energy policies that will include assessing policy impacts on emissions profiles, technological change, fuel choice, and macroeconomic indicators.
f. Analytical framework for each quantitative analysis will be designed with direction from the Ministry.
g. Reference case and policy case results will be provided to 2050 on an annual basis if possible. Preference will be given to the ability to provide detailed results for 2012, 2016, and 2020.
h. Analyses will involve varying assumptions and parameters as needed to improve modeling accuracy and highlight issues of uncertainty.

3. Specify a work plan and timeline that demonstrates the capacity and flexibility to complete all or part of 1 and 2 above.

a. Specify an estimated timeline to deliver final reports for all, or part, of the five analyses, in sequence, by March 31st 2010.
b. Demonstrate flexibility in the timeline of deliverables.
c. Specify the marginal charge for additional model development or modification.
d. Specify the marginal charge for additional policy cases.
e. Specify the marginal charge for additional comprehensive quantitative analyses.
f. Specify the marginal charge for additional complete reports.

3. Project Scope and Budget

The five analyses listed in the Requirements section are in priority order (2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e).

Proponents will complete all, or part, of the five analyses, in sequence, including the subcontracting of the appropriate technical subject matter experts where necessary with approval from the Ministry.

The maximum budget for all five analyses is $225,000 and proposal submissions for all five analyses must not exceed this budgeted amount. Proposal submissions for a portion of the five analyses must include a bid price for that portion. The Ministry will be reviewing partial proposals for the five analyses in the priority order listed above. If the five analyses are awarded to multiple proponents, contracts will be issued and funded in the sequence of the requirements listed above, until the maximum budget of $225,000 is exhausted. If there is not sufficient budget available to award all 5 analyses the Ministry reserves the right to cancel one or more at their discretion.


I find it interesting and revealing that government spends hugely on salaries for senior officials because they need "to hire the best and the brightest."

Yet, when something needs to be done, these brilliant six figure executives hire consultants to do all the heavy lifting. Exactly what expertise do the executives bring to the job?

The same thing applies at every governing level. When the engineers at a municipal engineering department need answers, the first thing they do is hire engineering consultants.

It's like me hiring a grass cutter to hire someone to mow the lawn. Maybe government could use some $1 a year people who would simply coordinate implementation of the consultants' reports.


I also find it particularly interesting that bringing in this particular outside gaggle of the 'best and brightest' will cost almost exactly what is being saved by the slashing and burning of a programme that really and truly does help facilitate the development of some of our own, homegrown, best and brightest.

Not to mention youngest.



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