Energy

Taxpayers pay for Earth’s destruction

Vancouver Canucks contracted the Sedin brothers to advise General Manager Jim Benning. The men were outstanding hockey players and are excellent human beings. Aptness of the Canucks’ move cannot be disputed.

However, the extent of news coverage when a sports organization hires two individuals illustrates a major problem. Large media corporations in Canada see their primary role is to entertain, not to inform. The company now owning properties that were once titans of news operations in BC—CKNW and BCTV—even styles itself CORUS ENTERTAINMENT.

If there is a bear swimming in someone’s backyard pool, corporate media will have the story quickly. When massive sums of taxpayers dollars flow to wealthy organizations without good public purpose, the subject is mostly ignored in billionaire-owned news providers. New media is left responsible for protecting the public interest and explaining complex issues.

For example, while an extraordinary heat wave envelopes western North America, and concern for climate change mounts, BC NDP and BC Liberals promote harmful fossil fuel projects that will cost tens of billions of taxpayer dollars. Not discussed in corporate media.

This article from The Tyee focuses on LNG but that is just one part of the road BC is paving toward Earth’s devastation.

Royalty reduction credits taken and accrued by BC natural gas producers now are well more than $10 billion. With flat demand for electricity in BC since 2005, the only justification for the $16 billion Site C dam was to provide electricity to LNG producers that politicians promised would add $1 trillion dollars to the BC economy.

Most projects never received a final investment decision and still involved investors are seeking additional bailouts from governments. Without further public subsidies, even the largest project may be abandoned. In any case, tens of billions of dollars have been committed to projects that were like infamous vaporware that was common in the computer industry during the late 20th century.

Already North America’s largest coal exporter, British Columbia is adding terminal capacity to ship even more coal. Railways are busy with coal traffic from eastern BC, Alberta and the USA. That traffic precludes the use of existing lines for passenger traffic, necessitating public expenditures of more billions for dedicated transit routes.

Corporate media has little interest in reporting the financial and environmental costs of fossil fuels. That’s one reason each of us should provide financial support to the real truth tellers. The Tyee and The Narwhal are just two that need reader support.

Excerpts from The Tyee:

Canadian LNG is particularly bad off, Ted Nace, executive director of the Global Energy Monitor, told The Tyee. “The problem with the Canadian LNG expansion is that it’s especially vulnerable because Canada is a high-cost producer on a world basis.”

That’s because Canada plans to produce its LNG from fracking — an energy and capital-intensive process to access gas hidden deep inside shale rock.

Canadian LNG comes up short on the global market, said Nace, particularly when it competes against countries where conventional gas sources make LNG cheaper to produce.

Nace said the pinch on LNG will get stronger as renewables prices drop. And those prices will not will be as volatile. “If you build a renewable [project] there is no question what it’s going to cost because there’s no fuel cost.”

A recent analysis projected cost for renewable energy would fall by around half between 2019 and 2030.

Meanwhile, the oft-cited argument that LNG provides a “transition fuel” is on shaky ground.

Back in 2013, the BC Liberal Party pledged that LNG would create $1 trillion in economic activity for the province. But that dream never materialized.

Yet efforts to establish an LNG industry in Canada have received billions in subsidies from provincial and federal governments.

LNG Canada alone has received $5.3 billion from the province.

When an industry is on a path to extinction, private investors exit and governments often step in, spending huge dollars to delay the inevitable.

 Ted Nace, executive director of the Global Energy Monitor, told The Tyee:

I think the public should really keep an eye on not letting the government go down that road again.

The Tyee and writer Zoe Yunker produced a very useful article but it should be read with others that illustrate the many ways that we are being forced to pay for destruction of our world.

Categories: Energy, Environment

13 replies »

  1. I think I’m going to call Horgan’s office and read this article in its entirety on his voice mail. It may take a while but I’ll make myself a nice cup of tea.

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  2. Oh, where to start!

    The entertainment media does not want to inform or educate, rather they want to tell and dictate; with their advertisers dictating what is news and what is not.

    Massive corruption reigns in BC starting with civic politics and like a cancer spreading through provincial politics and morphing itself as an endemic disease in Federal politics.

    Hardly a whisper from the mainstream media.

    The NDP, with a vain hope to change the course of politics in BC after one of the most corrupt governments this province has seen, instead carried on as if the 20 years of being in the wilderness did not exist.

    The NDP, Vision(less) Vancouver and the rest of the left leaning “higher purpose persons” have just made what was corrupt, being less corrupt because they are also corrupt.

    This weekend will be a reminder that current practices in BC have detrimental effects on the environment, but will be ignored by thousands flocking (by car) to the beaches, boating, or driving to go camping.

    Our regional transportation is a shambles, as is the planning. We are spending $4.6 billion to extend a politically prestigious, yet obsolete light metro system a mere 12.8 km, which will not take 1 car off the road and may force more people off transit than on to transit. But………It makes for good photo-ops at election time.

    The mainstream media happily regurgitate fake news releases as news, yet never expose the sham of planning that is currently taking place in BC.

    And the list goes on, Site C, forestry, regional transportation, tourism, education, and more all in a shambles, overseen by hugely incompetent bureaucrats which more and more looks like a repository for university graduates so incompetent they cannot get a job in the real world.

    Horgan’s NDP is nothing more than Gordon Campbell Lite, with the fifth estate reduced to a chorus line at a third rate carnival.

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  3. Oh boy Norm. I have just finished reading the latest “COMER” and your article here is an echo of what Joyce Nelson, William Krehm and Paul Hellyer have written about the sad state of Canadian governance.
    An article by Jack Biddell features the topic of national sovereignty, with many of the concerns that motivated me to launch the latest petition where we are looking for supporting signatures. If we get enough, Paul Manly will be entitled to then read it in parliament, when one is reconvened and Paul is still an MP.

    Just to alert readers , our petition is requesting that the Government of Canada rewrite the “Mission Statement ” of the Canadian Armed Forces to feature the vital importance of national sovereignty, unlike the present statement that does not include the word or the idea at all. As the MS currently reads the CAF might as well be thought of a mercenaries ready to do the bidding of other nations.

    For general interest “Comer” can be found at http://www.comer.org and e-mailed at comerpub@rogers.com

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  4. Yes those willfully blind media robots like the Corus Global CKNW BCTV CBC play their part in the destruction well. But I’ve never heard CKNW having there ranks filled with such spineless wonders.

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  5. Politics are the only reason the climate destroying projects continue. The only reason. The blanks are easy to fill in about the why. The climate destruction doesn’t matter too the moron politicians in Ottawa or Victoria or Alberta or elsewhere. It’s about their best fitting politics.

    Then the media puts it’s lips firmly on the big political rear end like there’s no tomorrow. They cower, and they avoid, and they turn a blind eye as the typical cowards they are. My God they are so disgusting. Actually, there so disgusting, they don’t even stand up for their own rights when there under attack.

    So many Canadian politicians are such rejects, and are so backwards compared to other environmentally advanced countries. It’s insane.

    But hey, it’s all being done for their own greedy political dynamic and who needs pleasing right.

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  6. As to test everyone’s patience, I dabble in transit issues and have been darling on transit issues for almost forty years. During this time i have corresponded with scores of real transit experts, the people who actually plan and build urban transit systems.

    One chap in Toronto is very blunt with the state of Canadian transit planning and offered this in an Email: Canadian transportation is now so hideously politicized that I just don’t see how we can bring any common sense and fiscal responsibility back into the issue.”

    This sums up Canada and Canadian politics and long term planning.

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    • When TransLink was campaigning for increased sales taxes to add vast new funding to their operations, I took deep dives into the financial and ridership numbers. My conclusion was that the agency was better at delivering wealth to insiders than service to users. Not only were executives among the highest paid of any transit managers in the world, the organization had a very large number of highly paid contractors who were more qualified in politics and public relations than transportation management. TransLink functioned as a self-interested cult.

      This has become the way of the world today. The value and effectiveness of what bureaucrats and corporate managers do is less important than how well they fool the public into thinking a good job is being done. After coal mining Teck Resources was fined $65 million following decades of serious pollution of international rivers, Teck took to social media, publishing pictures of tranquil waterways with claims about their outstanding environmental stewardship.

      Among other public sectors, we see similar deception today in energy and environmental initiatives. BC Government employs a great many people and contractors to market its “CleanBC” program. But at the same time it spends far more subsidizing expanded production of fossil fuels, the main contributor to climate change.

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      • So right Norm;

        As wealth continues to be more concentrated those no longer benefiting fairly seek other ways to increase incomes.

        The BC Law Institute identified some of this process when they published a report in 2011 that was titled “Unfair Contract Law” in BC. This report also included recommendations of how to correct with new legislation. For the past decade I have repeatedly tried to engage MLAs on this topic and other than the Greens, have met with no willingness to discuss.

        I used this report in Federal Tax Court because we had a dispute involving insurance contracts. As an economist I used all available tools to argue fairness and they worked. The scary thing was that the CRA lawyer wrote us to say that the CRA does not do “fairness”, a letter I was and am still astounded to have.

        In the course of the hearing I asked the judge , “where would I have to go if fairness was not to be had in his court”? His on the record answer was the Minister, which means that in his mind it was a political matter , not a fairness matter as the CRA likes to suggest in their mission statement.

        Once or twice, having these kind of real life experiences convinces a person that our legal framework delivers different legal experiences to different people. Some Canadians are more equal than about 90 % of us.

        Please process this example of differential law because it is by this process the majority become stripped of all assets. I got lucky with a judge who made it his business to deliver fairness but the CRA lawyer could not process this concept.

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  7. To the point. We pay taxes for the slug slimy lying hypocrite politicians to continue the destruction of the planet. About Corporate media. Well, they just keep on with the bear in the swimming pool stories and wimp out on this stuff. Yep, your completely right about those big media organizations. No good …….. Global and NW sure have their share of wooses nowadays. Their pathetic and hopeless. Most should go work for government. Complete sellouts.

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