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…
Natural gas production up, public revenue down
Citizens of BC are misled by government about economic returns from natural gas. Relevant statistics are not readily available and the ministries prefer to conceal them. Since government does not issue press releases with awkward news, the incurious press gallery ignores information like that shown below…
Ruled by climate change deniers
Both the Horgan and Trudeau governments made symbolic commitments to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Neither was sincere. Horgan passed UNDRIP into BC law but now ignores the declaration. Trudeau said they would table a bill on UNDRIP but this week decided to put the promise aside. Indigenous people won’t be surprised by choices of either government. They’ve observed 150 years of oppressive acts and broken promises.
Delusion, deception, inertia
Faced with a choice between respecting Supreme Court confirmed indigenous governance and serving foreign financial interests (Shell, Petronas, and PetroChina), BC NDP joined with the land polluters, not the land protectors.
Public consultations and transparency, sincere or fake?
Transparent decision making and promises of public engagements have been common in British Columbia. Liberal leader Gordon Campbell’s 2001 platform undertook to: Hold open Cabinet meetings at least once a month that […]
Remember when mendacious BC politicians spoke of massive wealth from natural gas production? Eight of the last ten monthly sales of petroleum and gas rights rank amongst the worst in 23 years.
Revenue from natural gas rights hits 23 year low
Were timber companies offered similar levels of cost relief as gas producers, the province would not have thousands of forestry workers hungry for employment. Politicians seem to believe that non-renewable resource companies are more deserving of financial support than ones harvesting renewable assets…
“Politics has become so expensive that it takes a lot of money even to be defeated.” Even with contribution limits, generous as they are, government remains biased toward serving interests of prosperous citizens…
Rising production, declining gas revenue
Sale of crown petroleum and natural gas rights in the first nine month of 2019 totalled $12 million. The average for the first nine months of the preceding 20 years was $448 million. That is a reduction of more than 97%.
Natural gas is not a bridge fuel
Cornell University scientists, including Professors Robert Howarth and Anthony Ingraffea, have been credited with raising scientific and public awareness of fracking and its dangers. As a result, the fossil fuel industry has funded academics and PR groups to attack both the scientists and their science…
Rising gas production; declining gas revenue
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.
Sacrificing the future
Norway made a choice to take a material share of oil and gas revenues and distribute the value of its non-renewable resources to citizens over multiple generations. Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan chose to benefit whichever corporations happened to be involved when production of oil and gas took place…
Rhetoric subjugated reason
In British Columbia, the energy ministry is staffed by regulators who don’t believe in regulation. That is a BC Liberal philosophy sustained by NDP timidity because the Horgan Government is nervous about giving ammunition to opponents who accuse it of being anti-business, anti-development and anti-growth. As a result, cartelized, profit-seeking natural gas producers still exercise undue influence over the energy ministry…
Green Party leader Andrew Weaver spoke to the BC Legislature March 26, 2019. He reported a former insider’s views of why BC natural gas royalty revenues have declined. These were in a letter written by a former civil servant who worked in the oil and gas provincial registry. NDP, Liberals, and corporate media paid almost no attention to Weaver’s speech. Natural resource taxation programs are complex and understanding is difficult because the NDP continues Liberal policies of less-than-transparent public-facing information.
“We are profoundly ignorant about what is going on”
I question why we allow fracking while there are significant knowledge gaps about safety. Authorities will not approve anyone to command flight controls of a loaded aircraft without certainty that person is proven capable of flying safely. In the production of BC natural gas, authorities have been unwilling to discover and accept sscience that suggests fracking is dangerous to workers, residents in gas producing areas and to the earth itself…
Natural gas revenues: going, going, almost gone
In 2008, British Columbia gained $3.2 billion from sale of petroleum and natural gas rights. If the second half of 2019 matches the first, revenue from right offerings for the year will amount to $5 million, less than 1/5 of one percent of 2008, despite substantially increased production of natural gas.
Grand scale giveaway
Why the NDP has decided to fight teachers and not the fossil fuel industry is a mystery to me. The volume of BC natural gas production has increased substantially in the 21st century but public revenues have declined to almost immaterial amounts.
Fugitives in our midst
Politicians in British Columbia’s two major political parties may speak about the need for urgent climate action in Canada. But, their moves to ramp up this province’s fossil fuel production put them firmly in the camp of climate change deniers.
LNG plants will only be constructed in BC if the province provides unprecedented subsidies and tax relief. Inducements include natural gas that is essentially free of royalties and other levies, electricity at a fraction of the cost BC Hydro incurs for new power and, after passage of Bill 10, tax credits that will eliminate provincial income tax that might otherwise be paid by LNG operators.
Andrew Weaver speaks
Excepting BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, politicians on both sides of BC’s Legislature are reluctant to discuss natural gas policies. This week, the BC NDP raised gas subsidies. That’s unfortunate because climate change is a critical threat to the world we live in and fossil fuels are a prime cause.