Category: Natural Gas

BC is good at climate action failure

Peter McCartney wrote about government and industry turning northeast British Columbia into a sacrifice zone: If this destruction were happening in the Lower Mainland or the Capital Regional District, it would be unthinkable. But successive provincial governments have allowed an entire region to be sacrificed to gas development—and even given billions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies to the companies responsible.

Northeast BC — a sacrifice zone

While John Horgan’s government has been using billions of public dollars to improve profitability of private producers of fossil fuels, University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) professor Élyse Caron-Beaudoin has been examining effects of natural gas production on people living near BC gas fields…

BC’s GHG emissions worse than we’ve been told

Governments of Canada and three western provinces are committed to increasing fossil fuel production, despite science that says we must begin to reduce GHG emissions immediately. Canada’s Industrial and political leaders have gone well beyond ignoring the precautionary principle. They are now following a considered path to disaster. Caring nothing about the future, they care instead about reaping financial rewards today.

Numbers speak

Climate science is not accepted by the British Columbia government. BC NDP promises “environmentally responsible development of BC’s energy resources” and while that sounds reasonable, BC’s Public Accounts reveals the real plan. John Horgan’s government is accelerating promotion of fossil fuels with increasing subsidies.

BC Government “deni-osaurs”

Canada’s federal government and its three western provinces are de facto climate change deniers. National Observer labelled this type denio-osaurs. All are committed to promoting increased production and export of fossil fuels. But, in some respects, British Columbia is worst of all.

BC is eliminating natural gas revenues

Beginning in Premier Gordon Campbell’s term as BC Premier, natural gas producers lobbied mightily for reductions in the public share of revenue derived from exploiting the natural resource. BC Liberals were receptive to the idea. Surprisingly, when the formerly centre-left New Democrats came to power, they accelerated the reductions.

Indifferent to existential threats

While natural gas producers now pay nothing to the BC public in comparison to earlier days, production of the fossil fuel has about doubled in the last ten years. Fossil fuels may pose an existential threat to the world, but politicians in Canada are either unaware or indifferent. Evidence suggests the latter.

BC Government hides fossil fuel subsidies

In 2019, BC’s Auditor General concluded natural gas operators were not required by government to decommission or restore inactive well sites. Furthermore, that funds collected from operators were inadequate to cover restoration costs for wells “orphaned” by gas company bankruptcies. The Auditor General found that because of these deficiencies, the BC Government had not effectively managed the environmental and financial risks of non-operating oil and gas sites. In 2019, taxpayers were on the hook for $3 billion in cleanup costs, an amount that has grown larger in 2020…

Radioactive

We already knew the oil and gas business was poisoning land and water and polluting the atmosphere. Most people, including workers in the northeast gas fields, are probably unaware that people are being exposed to radioactivity as well.

Unmeasured GHG emissions ignored

One of the pre-election promises made quietly by the BC NDP to me and other concerned citizens was to apply best scientific practices in regulating British Columbia’s northeast gas fields. In another post-election policy reversal, John Horgan’s NDP government decided the only action needed was a little green washing…