We’re in a climate crisis. So why did the B.C. government give oil and gas companies $663 million in subsidies last year so they would produce more fracked natural gas?
So asks veteran BC journalist Paul Willcocks at The Tyee. He notes the BC government is:
not offering any answers on why it’s necessary, how the taxpayer subsidy is justified or the conflict between claiming to want to reduce emissions while making it cheaper to produce polluting natural gas.
Based on an Auditor General estimate of 10,000 BC jobs, Paul Willcocks calculated this year’s subsidy works out to about $63,000 per job.
But, the employment subsidy is even worse than suggested. The Auditor General’s comment about 10,000 jobs in oil and gas is a generous round-up. Stats Canada reports that in 2018, BC had 20,800 jobs in mining, 4,200 jobs in oil and gas extraction, and 7,800 in “Support Activities for Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction”.
Take 4,200 oil & gas extraction jobs, add 20% of the support positions and that suggests 5,775 jobs were provided by the petroleum and natural gas extraction business.
Including royalty reduction credits accrued, each of those 5,775 jobs costs over $115,000—and that’s without counting administrative, social and environmental costs.
It is not just royalty reduction programs that caused provincial revenues to crash. The energy ministry has followed a comprehensive program of reducing the public benefit from petroleum and natural gas production.
Government has been more successful in implementing this policy than any other. Read through this category for more information.
Let us examine 20 years of gas production against 20 years of revenue.
Categories: Natural Gas