Before we follow the LNG path

The Liberal Premier of New Brunswick announced a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and he offered advice that Christy Clark should note,

“We’re not interested in putting all of our eggs in a single basket.”

Premier Gallant says the moratorium won’t be lifted until these conditions are met:

  • A social license in place;
  • Clear and credible information about the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on our health, environment and water, allowing us to develop country-leading regulatory regime with sufficient enforcement capabilities;
  • A plan that mitigates the impacts on our public infrastructure and that addresses issues such as waste water disposal;
  • A process in place to respect our obligations under the duty to consult with First Nations;
  • A mechanism in place to ensure that benefits are maximized for New Brunswickers, including the development of a proper royalty structure.

If British Columbia followed the same policies, hydraulic fracturing in this province would end because not a single one of the conditions is in place. I don’t expect Liberals to adopt the plan because, truly, they decided to put all of our eggs in a single basket.

Fracking begets a surplus of natural gas and requires massive quantities of water. More produced gas would have no ready market so LNG is offered as the solution. But international markets are uncertain and creation of export capacity requires risky investments for transmission, liquefaction and transport. Beyond that, converting gas to liquid demands massive uninterruptible energy inputs. That requires construction of the Site C dam but its power will cost three times BC Hydro’s energy charge for large industrial users. High priced power would kill LNG deals so BC Hydro’s residential customers would have to pay price increases even higher than the 30% hikes they face before any new subsidies to business customers.

Even if the province finds money for capital and operating subsidies for processing and transport, there remains no certainty that delivery of much higher gas production can be achieved without negatively affecting the traditional territories of First Nations people. Given Supreme Court of Canada decisions recently, that could end the LNG initiative by itself.

Regardless, Liberals may be forced to admit that LNG plants, fueled with royalty-free gas, constructed with machinery sourced outside Canada and largely assembled by foreign crews, provide benefits to relatively few people. There is certainty though of rising costs of living for everyone, including much higher home heating bills because international pricing would drive up domestic gas prices. Even BC Ferries, which plans to convert from diesel, will be forced to impose fuel surcharges again to cover higher gas prices.

Other than industry claims and discredited statements of government that LNG will produce enormous wealth for British Columbians, there is no evidence that even modest benefits for the province exist. The time to shut down this fantasy is now. If this choice is delayed, it is another cost that will rise dramatically.

Categories: LNG

8 replies »

  1. I was going to suggest we canvas local grade schools to find s replacement for Chrispy Clark, but on second thought, decided they would be over qualified. What's to understand? New Brunswick's moratorium is pretty comprehensible. The economics of the LNG 'industry' are fairly obvious. Instead, maybe we should look for a post with hair. That would ensure that nothing was done, which would be a much better path than the one we're on.


  2. It has become obvious that the BC Liberals, have thrown caution of any sort to the wind, and are prepared to further indebt this province in a crap shoot they intend to try and manipulate for outside interests. The people of this province will be saddled with a huge debt and any realized profits minus a paltry or miniscule royalty fee, will go offshore or into the hands of their corporate friends.
    The socialization of debt and privatization of profits are the mantra of this party, its lobbyists, and supporters.
    Unfortunately, the current leadership vacuum in this province is not able to even begin to articulate the necessary intelligence, to even look at or see alternatives. The lottery win mentality, is all they see.
    As can be seen in New Brunswick's situation, there are intelligent choices and other ways of handling the LNG fantasy ride that the BC Lib's are taking us all for.


  3. At the risk of getting tarsanded and feathered, I support furthering current (pun intended) research into nuclear. Not Fukushima nuclear, but Canadian based design using molten salt reactor design. Small units placed near consumption. That being said, the first thing I would like to see is reduction of that consumption. Compressing natural gas only to have it uncompressed a few days later (after transporting halfway around the world on a diesel powered ship) is not a good example of reducing consumption. Regardless if the massive amount of energy required comes from Site C and Narrows Inlet IPP combined or from natural gas fired turbines or from nuclear….it is inefficient. One unconventional thought would be to leave most of it in the ground, with the little we need to use just pumped through pipelines on this continent. Sure pumping takes energy, but a couple of orders of ten less than liquefying.


  4. Anyone paying attention knows that this pretense that passes for a government in BC is mostly smoke, mirrors, lies, obfuscation, diversion and more lies.
    They shed the exposure of their chicanery like a duck sheds water off it's back. They feel no pain, they feel no shame no matter how devastating their activities impoverish the lives and environment of the people of BC, because, truth to tell, they are just following the orders of their corporate benefactors who likewise have no shame.

    We know the names of the corporations but we seldom if ever get to see the faces and the names of the wizards behind the curtain pushing and pulling the levers that make the politicians do the terrible things they do.

    The list is long and perhaps endless because of the intertwining of purposes and cross purposes and connections to other provincial and federal counterparts all designed to confuse and bewilder those of us with time enough to ponder the realities and consequences.

    Most of us will not live long enough to see any hint of real exposure and prosecution of these seemingly above the law criminals, but if some media or scribe could or would put the faces and names and locations of these corporate buccaneers in full view on social media,it might stall their efforts at least until they devise more subtle ways of obscuring their shadowy existence.

    In BC we know who was behind the emergence of Campbell and the loss of BC Rail but many names and faces and connections remain shielded. We know something of the virtual loss of BC Ferries but the names and faces of the string pullers are largely hidden from public view. Likewise for the assault on our wild salmon by the federally and provincially assisted foreign fish farm corporations. So too for all the overpriced P3 enterprises, the deliberate corruption and dissolution of BC Hydro and it's Run of the River blood suckers. Boss power, Mt. Polley, Taseko, Northern Gateway, Trans Mountain, LNG, Washington Marine, Sea to Sky, and on and on and on it goes this seemingly endless perfidy by our so called elected representatives and so many many more seemingly lesser transgressions when compared to the headliners but of equal harm to the people who after all is said and done have paid for and will pay dearly for this endless abuse of power by the very people we elected to ensure shit like this would not happen.

    Clearly, voting doesn't work, shaming is a farce, protesting only brings us into conflict with their police forces, the courts are impotent and most of us are too preoccupied with staying alive and paying the bills to get involved, and gravy train just keeps on rolling.

    How much more can we or will we take until we really do something about it?


  5. I would like to change 'comprehensible' to 'comprehendible' and to preface 'post' with the word 'fence' as it is more descriptive.
    To all, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and if you're fortunate enough to enjoy a holiday, have a Happy Holiday Season.


  6. That has to be a rhetorical question RW?
    Has anyone calculated how much (Taxfree!) CNG it would take to compress a shipload of LNG and power said ship on (Taxfree!) CNG/LNG to its Asian destination? Wouldn't be ironic if it ran out of fuel before it got there! Don't forget to include enough (Taxfree!) fuel to get it back for another load.


  7. So, the outside interests would make money and not those in B.C. I do wonder why the B.C. Lieberals are doing this. A couple of thoughts come to mind. I just really hope they aren't doing it for free. I'd like to think someone is getting paid off because if they're doing it for free, they are dumper than I thought they were.

    Now of course before reading this I was really the Pacific Gazetter's latest listing and combined with this article, I have concluded there are banana republics which look better than the B.C. Lieberals


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