Saying no to the Forces of Know

sparkle-ponyAt The Gazetteer, RossK and friends are commenting about reports that Petronas does or does not aim to bail from the land of Sparkle Ponies. In my opinion, discussion of what’s been said or not said is rather pointless.

What is relevant is that the international LNG market is oversupplied and will remain that way for many years to come. Perhaps forever, if we start to listen to honest climate science. Image¹


The prices for LNG are much lower than a few years ago and oversupply dictates they will remain that way. There have been new projects coming on stream, boosting supply faster than demand. In addition, existing LNG processors can add supply at lower cost than new facilities, if demand grows.

BC Liberals have been desperate to reward the gas industry in this province. To that end, they’ve more or less eliminated the public share of revenues generated. For more than two years, the BC Government incurred more liabilities to gas companies than it received in revenue from gas rights and royalties. Additionally, BC Liberals offered tax holidays to LNG processors for years – and Governments – to come.

So, there is there is a weak, overpriced marketplace and, since there is almost no public revenue to forego, the Clark Government has only one way to provide further encouragement. Of course, that involves taxpayers paying producers to remove natural gas from the province.

pamColeman and Clark should be miserable about past Prosperity Fund promises. However, in Shakespeare’s words,”Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” Coleman and Clark have been crawling in bed with unsavoury characters; Morgan, Razak and Tanoto, to name just three.

Whether LNG facilities proceed or not will have nothing to do with markets or the current financial whims of unethical billionaires. It will depend on BC Liberals’ willingness to commit tax dollars. The government that waited almost ten years to make a modest adjustment to benefits for disabled persons may become marvellously magnanimous when billions need to be placed on the table after Rich Coleman talks to LNG operators about “tightened” numbers.


Just as Liberals are having taxpayers cough up ten or more billions to build Site C for power we don’t need and cannot sell, they will have taxpayers load billions more onto public debt, just to prove the “Forces of Know” have been wrong about LNG.

They won’t borrow the money directly. It will be done in the style of public private partnerships where some non-government entity creates and holds the debt but future BC taxpayers are required to pay tens of billions by contractual commitments.

By established practice, political pundits in the mainstream media won’t count that as debt. In fact, they’ll pretend it doesn’t exist and will celebrate clever Liberals proving their opponents wrong.

¹ NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using data from the EPA.

Categories: Debt, LNG, Natural Gas

Tagged as: , ,

14 replies »

  1. I agree Norm,
    Discussions of what’s been said or not said is rather pointless! There is more to this and our government’s, provincial and federal, eagerness to sell or give away our resources will be to our detriment.


  2. Exporting LNG requires lots of energy:

    1.Fracking the natural gas out of the ground,
    2. Piping the natural gas to the LNG plant,
    3. Cooling the natural gas into LNG,
    4. Shipping the LNG 7,000 km across the Pacific Ocean.

    At what point is it just not worth producing and shipping LNG?

    GHG emissions are produced at every step, plus when the LNG is burned at its final point of use.


  3. Christy’s intent to sell our resource at any cost is another flagrant example of her flawed value system. Never once does she think about future generations or the environment we leave them. At the moment that resource has much greater value being left in the ground…Ms. Clark has tunnel vision.


  4. Taking things a step further we should be aware that given our absolute correct passion and concerns for our environment, our governments may see this as an opportunity in hoping we become blind as to whether it makes business sense.
    Placing such importance on conditions to protect our province it is hoped we will accept giving away our resources.
    While the Government’s main concern is giving the perception they have our best interest heart.


  5. The highlight of the whole waste of time and public resources has been how a foreign owned company run by people with questionable motives was allowed to manipulate a government. But when that government appears to want that to happen why would we expect otherwise. Nothing in this whole fiasco ever was about having the best interests of BC residents first and foremost. When you have already given away the farm, what else is there to give?
    And as the commenter above indicates about emissions, why not use the gas prior to refrigeration for domestic electrical generation rather than flooding valleys? Like we are able be do at Burrard Thermal?


  6. I hear you Norm et al.

    However, here’s something to consider…

    If the citizenry and, perhaps, the local proMedia punditry were to get uppity about the possibility of Petronas sale of the PNWLNG enterprise, do you think that Mr. Coleman would still be given a relatively free pass from said punditry re: his desire to re-open negotiations to give away more of the citizenry’s collective asset/regulatory farm to get down to his coveted ‘number’?



    • My words should not be taken as criticism. Your piece and the comments attached illustrate the defective process involved in reporting news. The public pays big dollars, directly and indirectly, for political spinmeisters like Mr. Sproule who are there to claim that up is down and in is out.

      The corporate media doesn’t much like paying for investigative journalism that allows people like Mike De Souza to focus intently on important issues. (Listen to National Observer people Linda Solomon Wood and Mike De Souza talk with Jesse Brown). We’re left with news people spending minutes on research instead of hours or days. The expedient thing is to repeat or reword untested submissions from involved parties.

      Favours beget favours. If Coleman wants someone to call him brilliant, it will be done immediately by hired guns or representatives from companies seeking rewards from the Minister of Gas. If news reporters have eyes on government jobs at two or three times the pay of private media, for themselves or their family members, they cooperate readily with people who can make it happen.

      However, much of what goes on is noise. I try to get information from data, not from spin doctors. During recent years, the data says that British Columbia gets very little from natural gas producers and will get less than nothing from LNG processors if taxpayers have to pay for it to happen.

      BC Liberals are like young adults with big limit credit cards. It’s so much fun to spend today if payments can be deferred until a seemingly distant tomorrow. Like a ponzi scheme, obligations keep growing until the final collapse. Then, everyone says, “How did this happen?”


      • Norm, there is a lot of truth packed into those five paragraphs explaining the reasons why this province and its public institutions are being stolen or besmirched beyond salvation by the current regime.

        Oh how I wish it could be unpacked and understood by a majority of the electorate before next May. I trust that would set the province on a different course.

        Somehow it has to happen. If not for us, by us; for our grandchildren.


  7. Re Burrard Thermal, the BC Clean Energy Act says BT should be mothballed.

    Closing BT justifies additional power purchases from IPPs.

    BT emits GHG’s, but so does LNG.

    Burning BC LNG in Asian power plants is considered ok, but burning it in BC is somehow not ok.


  8. public private partnerships…

    Report: How privatization increases inequality

    In the Public Interest’s analysis of recent government contracting identifies five ways in which government privatization disproportionately hurts poor individuals and families, each of which is explored in greater detail in the five main sections of the report:

    – Creation of new user fees
    – Increase in existing user fees
    – Decreased wages and benefits
    – Privatization of the social safety net
    – Increased socioeconomic and racial segregation.


  9. Great post. Too bad it won’t be in all the MSM newspapers and t.v. news. Ah, well if they vote for the queen of photo ops again, they get what they deserve. its just to bad the kids have to suffer and pay it all off.

    in this “wonderful” “sparkle pony” world you’d think things would get better for kids, but B.C. still has the highest rate of child poverty in Canada after all these years of great brilliant business leadership of the B.C. Lieberals. they love those P3s so much, they’re thinking of using it for schools in surrey.

    It will be interesting to see who will pay that $10 a ton carbon tax on all that LNG? Most likely us, our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.


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