February 13, 2013, three months before her first general election as Premier, Christy Clark announced:
…the new British Columbia Prosperity Fund to ensure communities, First Nations and all British Columbians benefit from the development of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry…
LNG development is poised to trigger approximately $1 trillion in cumulative GDP within British Columbia over the next 30 years and that means more than $100 billion will flow directly to the Prosperity Fund.
Province wide, LNG is expected to create on average 39,000 annual direct, indirect and induced full-time jobs during a nine-year construction period. As well, there could be as many as 75,000 full-time jobs required once all LNG plants are in full operation…
Factsheet issued by BC Liberal Government:
…Projected total revenues to government are estimated between $130 billion and $260 billion over the next 30 years. In order to maximize the benefits of these developments to future generations of British Columbians, the provincial government is establishing a new British Columbia Prosperity Fund…
During the 2013 election campaign, Liberals promised that LNG revenues would ensure a debt free British Columbia and gas production would fund essential spending for healthcare, education and social services. They claimed the Liberal plan demonstrated superiority of BC’s financial management because, after almost 40 years, Alberta’s Heritage Fund contained only $17 billion, a fraction of the fund accumulation rate intended for B.C.
When Premier Clark made the 2013 announcement, 53 drilling rigs were active in BC’s gas fields. According to the Baker Hughes Rig Count, the current number is six. Natural gas revenues, which averaged $2.33 billion a year during the decade before Clark’s leadership are this year less than one-tenth that amount in current dollars.
The numbers are getting worse too. Fiscal year 2016 is less than 50% of the 2012-2016 year average and about 10% of the 2002-2011 average.
Yet, despite declining revenues and evidence that both conventional and LNG markets are oversupplied for at least the next decade — and the fact almost 200 nations pledged to move away from fossil fuels — BC Liberals think they can win another election by claiming natural gas will be the multi-decade engine of our provincial economy.
It is not true and BC Liberals know it to be untrue.