The unexpected victory by Christy Clark and her Liberal Party in B.C.’s provincial election has renewed the divisive debate over pipelines.
The NDP said it would put the brakes on two pipelines from Alberta to the West Coast, saying the risks to the environment are too great and the economic benefits too small.
But Clark, speaking to reporters on Wednesday about her election win and her priorities, said one reason for her re-election was her decision to keep the door open to pipelines if conditions can be met.
“The idea that you're going to say no to economic development before you even see it — I think that was part of it, the issue of who was going to say yes to economic development,” she said.
The Enbridge Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan pipelines would bring jobs to B.C., especially during the construction phase.
But the projects also bring environmental risk on land and offshore, with a huge jump in oil tanker traffic off the province’s coast.
Federal NDP energy and natural resources critic Peter Julian said there's tremendous opposition to the pipelines within B.C.
Julian, who is the MP for Burnaby-New Westminster, said Clark's re-election isn't necessarily a mandate for the projects to go ahead — despite pressure from Alberta and the federal government.
"I don't think this changes anything,” he said.
"As newly re-elected premier, she has to be cautious about public opinion. British Columbians have been very clear — they don't see this in our environmental or economic interests.”
‘A smarter discussion’
Many Albertans were rooting for the B.C. Liberals because they are seen as more friendly to Alberta's energy industry. Getting Alberta bitumen to B.C.'s coast is critical to Alberta's economy.
Rod Love, one of the organizers of a Calgary fundraiser for the B.C. Liberals earlier this year, said the premiers of B.C. and Alberta can now talk about pipelines without worrying about an election on their immediate horizons.
“With Christy Clark now getting a new mandate, I think we're able to have a smarter discussion about our common interest with respect to energy and getting product to market,” he said.
Love said more than 130 companies were at the fundraiser for the B.C. Liberals in Calgary earlier this year — a clear sign many Alberta businesses will be celebrating the Liberal win.
He wouldn't say how much was raised at that event but records show Alberta companies donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the B.C. Liberals.
David Collyer, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, acknowledged a Liberal government in B.C. is a good thing for Alberta.
“We know what we are working with as far as the policy environment — it’s a government that has been largely supportive of oil and gas issues, like West Coast access for oil,” he said.
From Common Sense Canadian contributor Kevin Logan comes this multimedia examination of where Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberal Party really stand on proposed oil pipelines and tankers in BC.
Christy Clark and the BC Liberals have made a lot of bold claims about their position on pipelines proposed for British Columbia.
However, what they have neglected to tell British Columbians is that their government has entered into binding agreements that ensure the success of pipelines from Alberta to the BC Coast.
Everyone knows there has been a lot of politics surrounding pipeline developments in British Columbia, but very few are aware of the longstanding agreements, established by the BC Liberals, that ensure the success of the proposed pipelines and have thoroughly tied the hands of all BC Stakeholders leaving them with no capacity to actually impact the processes that will ensure the success of these developments.
The Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) and New West Partnership Agreement (NWPA) which it developed into absolutely confirm that no level of government in British Columbia can block pipeline development. Nor can they impede trade through the province or create any obstacle, whatsoever, that prevents pipelines from Alberta from reaching BC's tidal waters. Doing so would result in fines of up to 5 million dollars per infraction.
The June 2010 "Equivalency Agreement", done in secret by the BC Liberals with the Harper Conservative Government - and against the letter of the law - forfeits BC's ability to review, assess and decide on these pipeline proposals which threaten to transform the province as we know it.
The video presents these documents, and exposes the BC Liberal election posturing on pipelines as hollow and meaningless. These concepts, backed by government documentation, have been published online and are readily available for anyone interested.
Yet Christy Clark has never publicly acknowledged their existence. More importantly, she has also positioned her party for re-election on claims that run counter to these indisputable facts.
In fact, the material contained in the above video proves that Christy Clark's claims that she can block or prevent these pipeline proposals, based on her "tough NEW stance" and "5 conditions" is without merit, not based in reality and ignores the existence of these agreements of her government's own making.
The video closes with live footage from the most recent Estimates debate for the Ministry of Energy, where the Minister of Everything, Rich Coleman, is on tape discussing his government's "non-disclosure agreements" with the world's largest oil companies.
This fact has gone unreported and exposes the bold hypocrisy of the BC Liberal campaign, which has had the audacity to broadly claim the BC NDP is "concealing" their position on these pipeline developments.
There is not one mainstream media report that covers the "non-disclosure agreements" the world's largest oil and gas companies have with the BC Liberals, even though the minister responsible has made their existence known in the public debate contained in this video.
Stories on these topics (see below) have been published on the internet for over a year, yet no one has refuted them, and Christy Clark has never publicly acknowledged their existence.
They impact all British Columbians and are crucial to our future.
For BC Premier Christy Clark, today's series of gaffes perfectly confirm that theory.
Just when her campaign was gaining ground - with new polls showing a much-narrowed 4-7 point gap between the Liberals and front-running BCNDP - Clark's "Debt Free BC" campaign bus has hit a few nasty speed bumps.
First, there was the leak by her opponents of documents allegedly revealing more evidence of tax dollars being spent on campaign activities, as early as 2011. According to the CBC, who broke the story early this morning, "The NDP says the emails it has leaked show a team of B.C. Liberal insiders — Dave Ritchie, Kim Haakstad, Trevor Halford and others — were having meetings about the by-election in Port Moody and preparations to strengthen the current Liberal campaign during regular business hours at the office of team leader Dave Richie: Room 247 in the main legislature."
If true, these actions would be in violation of the B.C. Public Service Act, which forbids conducting partisan activities with public resources. The story comes on the heels of the "ethnic-gate" scandal, which involved similar dynamics and hamstrung the Liberals heading into the election campaign.
Next, there came news of Christy Clark's bewildering ballot-box mix-up, which saw her allegedly spoil her own vote at a photo-op. The National Post described the situation as follows:
Casting an advance ballot in her hometown of Burnaby in front of a throng of media and campaign staff on Wednesday, a confused Ms. Clark writes her own name on her ballot paper. But Ms. Clark doesn’t live in her own riding, a detail which would have rendered her vote invalid.
Quickly realizing the error, Ms. Clark asks for her ballot back. CBC footage shows Ms. Clark then writing down the name of Vancouver–Fairview Liberal candidate Margaret MacDiarmid, but failing to cross out her own name before submitting her ballot paper, leading to further confusion over the legitimacy of her vote.
Harmless gaffe or not, the move hardly inspires confidence in a leader whose job demands being cool under pressure.
To cap it all off is the most serious and damaging of revelations for Clark on what has become a day from campaign hell. Global TV is reporting that a movement is underway within Clark's own party to overthrow her as soon as the ballot boxes close on Tuesday. "It’s called the 801 movement, symbolizing 8:01 p.m., one minute after the election and precisely when the movement plans to begin the process of putting pressure on Clark to step aside," Global reports.
"The movement — made up of party members and business leaders — has already created their own buttons."
It's no secret that Clark has never achieved widespread popularity within her own caucus, but surely this news breaking 5 days before the election can't benefit anyone in the Liberal Party. How will British Columbians feel about casting their ballot for a leader whose own party may be scheming to dump her?
Maybe bad things do happen in threes...then again, as I write this early in the afternoon, there's plenty of time yet to make it four.
I’ve got to say it, Premier: you don’t know a damned thing about pipelines and tankers.
Do you not understand that the rupture of a pipeline or "accident" with a tanker is mathematically inevitable? That we’re not talking risks but certainties? Your friends in the business community like to call these things “risks” in order to convince people that they’re not likely to happen. Think on this, Premier – if an accident is not going to happen, why make multimillion dollar facilities to clean them up?
The theorem is not that something can be an “acceptable risk” but that an “ongoing risk” is a certainty waiting to happen. You simply must understand this, Premier, or you are selling out the Province. As they say, shit happens.
You would have laughed, as we all would have on March 21, 2006, to think that a BC Ferry would sink, yet the following day that is just what happened.
Prior to June, 2012, we would all have scoffed at the thought that a luxury liner, on a fine day, would sink, causing several deaths and injuries.
Having agreed on that, we must assess what the damage will be. With an airplane we know that. When we get on a plane we’re betting on the odds being in our favour, but the fact that there will be crashes is a certainty. We are also prepared to concede that if our jet crashes, we’ll be dead.
If we’re to be honest, Premier, what we’re asking is not what are the odds of this happening, since we know that it will. As long as human beings are involved, there will be human error. It’s not a matter if airplanes will crash but what are the odds on it happening, say, in a month.
It is the same with pipelines and tankers – we know that these calamities are certainties but today nothing will likely happen. Even if we disagree on the odds, that doesn’t alter the fact that it will happen. We are only really calculating when or how often – the same thing an insurance company does, or we do when we bet on the odds at the race track.
Knowing the inevitable, we must now consider the consequences. It’s rather like calculating how long you can put to your head a revolver with 100 chambers and one bullet and keep pulling the chamber. You know you’ll kill yourself - the only mystery being when. If, however, you don’t put a bullet in the chamber, but marshmallow instead, you don’t care, for you won’t be hurt.
We're not talking marshmallow here.
With oil spills and tankers, we know that the result, whenever it happens, will be hideous, catastrophic. With diluted bitumen (dilbit), there is no such thing as a small accident and you and your government must begin to understand that.
Now, to cleanup. The fact is that there is little that can be done except to the stuff you can see and access and even then very little.
I hope you know about the Enbridge "accident" in Michigan at the Kalamazoo River in July 2010. This spill was described as "not serious" by the government but it hasn’t been cleaned up yet!
Where our pipelines spill, it will not be easy to access for men and machines. Look at the proposed routes. When a spill occurs in the Rockies, the Rocky Mountain Trench, the Coast Range or the Great Bear Rainforest, how the hell are you going to get there? So you are faced with the facts that spills of dilbit are catastrophic and with our proposed pipelines you can’t get to them.
Just what makes you think that David Black’s proposed refinery will make things better?
It will be bringing bitumen from the same tar sands over the same terrain as the proposed Enbridge pipeline. The only possible plus is that instead of dumping dilbit into the ocean it will be refined oil, just like the Exxon Valdez did.
It’s been said that the Kinder Morgan line has been safe. I put this to Rex Weyler, co-founder of Greenpeace and an authority on these matters and here’s what he says:
• There have been a number of incidents related to the Trans Mountain pipeline - including the spill in Burnaby in 2007. Trans Mountain Pipeline (Kinder Morgan) pleaded guilty pleas to a 21-count indictment in B.C. Provincial Court.
• In 2009, oil spilled from Kinder Morgan's oil Westridge terminal in Burnaby.
Of course Premier Christy Clark must resign. This unholy bloody business called "ethnicgate" started and stayed in her office. The cabinet minister, John Yap, who ran upon his own sword, lied while doing so, saying that none of this had crossed his desk.
Why did he lie?
Clearly because his knowledge as a member of cabinet would be imputed to the premier, his boss. His note, cheering on his hired fixits, could hardly be sent unless he had Clark’s approval.
The appointment of the premier’s deputy minister to investigate this matter was wrong from the beginning and his report bears that out – he did not interview any members of caucus; more importantly he didn’t interview any cabinet ministers; most importantly, he did not interview the premier.
Mr. Dyble himself should have refused the assignment. If he took it, it had to have no strings attached – which there obviously were.
The constitutional practice over the centuries requires that cabinet ministers, including first ministers, must resign if they are under a cloud. That Premier Clark is under a cloud can scarcely be denied by her most loyal of Liberal friends.
The premier must do the right thing and do it now. Not to do so is not only dishonourable but she places herself and her party ahead of her sworn obligation as a member of cabinet and the first minister.
And that will be her legacy – a dishonourable woman who put personal and political considerations ahead of her duty.
Gary Mason’s column in the March 12 edition of The Globe and Mail, on Christy Clark, is very interesting. The premier is complaining about the lack of precision in the NDP’s plans and calls upon Adrian Dix to spell it all out.
"So not only are the people going to compare me with Adrian Dix," said Clark, "they will be comparing leadership with an absence of courage to tell people where his party where his party stands on things. If we get into a competition of ideas in this campaign, I believe we can win that battle because I believe the things I stand for are what British Columbians want: a strong economy, smaller government, jobs for our kids, a prosperity fund, lower taxes."
Leaving aside the prosperity fund nonsense for a moment, these words could have been attributed to all premiers I have listened to going back to my own days in the Legislature. Mindless crap, motherhood and apple pie - but predictable.
Clearly, there are a number of things Ms. Clark does not wish to debate, especially the deplorable fiscal situation and scandals galore, with two fresh ones ongoing right now.
Let’s have a look at the promise involving the chimera she calls a “prosperity fund”.
This is simple barnyard droppings wrapped in a pretty package. You will remember that in the Throne Speech this “fund” would come to pass in two years. In an interview with Justine Hunter she admitted that might be up to five years – how long will it be Ms. Clark?
How about “never”.
The plain truth is that it will never happen. Even if LNG plants (the proposed sources of funds) sprang up all over the province, which they won’t, any revenue would be required for general taxation for a province Ms. Clark’s government, and the Campbell one before it, has left broke.
It would be just as accurate for Premier Clark to promise that our economy under a Liberal government - our "prosperity" - depends upon the Easter Bunny.
Let’s turn now to what the premier is not talking about – the environment.
Readers will recall that the environment has never been a major issue in elections. The media types who conduct and participate in the traditional debate never raise this as an issue because their bosses won’t tolerate anything that smacks of being anti-Liberal.
The premier says she opposes Enbridge because it doesn't give BC sufficient revenue to compensate for the environmental 'risk'. Black's alternative involves a pipeline carrying the same product from the same place, along the same route, to the same destination, where it would then be refined before being loaded onto tankers. And yet, Clark somehow seems amenable to the newer proposal.
The only apparent difference is the greater share of provincial revenue and local jobs which Black's proposal offers and the perceived lower risk of shipping refined products vs. diluted bitumen (only for the tankers - the pipeline would be moving the same Tar Sands product).
In essence the Liberal position is we will not approve these pipelines and tanker traffic unless the bribe is sufficient to permit us to overlook the risks.
Here is the crux of the matter. Surely all would agree that in order to meet the money versus pipelines and tankers issue we must assess what that risk is. That’s only common sense.
What, then, Premier Clark, do you assess these risks to be?
Surely there must be a formula. Tell us that it isn’t just flying by the seat of our pants, or pantsuits!
What studies has your government done to assess these risks? Have you looked at the history of pipelines the world over? Have you, more to the point, assessed the risks associated with Enbridge, whose record is appalling? Black, for his part, has zero experience moving oil products - hardly any more reassuring.
But it's more than that, for you surely agree that before making this "risk for dough" assessment you must not only deal with the possibilities of a spill but what damages would flow.
What about, say, a spill in the Rockies, or in the Coast Range, or in the Rocky Mountain Trench or in the Great Bear Rain Forest? Or by tanker. In the case of pipelines, how in hell is a company going to get men and heavy machinery to the site?
I’m sure you’ve seen by now that you must not only assess the risk of harm in various sensitive areas, be they in a fjord, Vancouver Harbour, and in all sensitive areas, which, Premier, means everywhere in the province, but what the cost will be.
But do you? Do you know what the consequences of dilbit accidents are?
Let’s call these spills/accidents for what they really are.
They are not risks but catastrophes waiting to happen. It’s not "if", Premier Clark, but "when".
What you are saying to the people of BC is that you are prepared to take a certain sum of money for inevitable “accidents”, wherever they happen and whatever damage they do.
At least be honest on this score so that the voting public has a clear understanding that for money you will abandon our heritage.
There are two other issues that I will go into in depth with as the days pass.
Your government is continuing to grant fish farm licenses in spite of Commissioner Bruce Cohen’s report. Indeed, your government is the landlord for all BC's fish farms (signing off on the tenures they require to site and operate their farms), yet you have done no policing and the only fines ever imposed came from an NDP administration and the Campbell government gave them their fines back.
The only way these farms can make a profit is by sending their sewage (fish excrement, unconsumed food, anti-lice compounds, unconsumed medicines, drugs and colourants) into the oceans as raw sewage.
Quite apart from the appalling impact these hideous farms have had on wild salmon runs, the above should have you forcing these farms on land, as a recent federal government report recommended.
Will you do this - and if not, why not?
The weasel words, “run of river” projects, have decimated our rivers and, as with fish farms, no inspection of them takes place even though there have been 1000s of broken rules. BC Hydro, the jewel of our crown would be bankrupt if it were in the private sector because of the sweetheart deals your government has forced them to pay to private companies.
This is just one of the scandalous policies that have beset your government. What are you going to do about this issue?
Is this really a process to provide energy to gas prospectors who can use that energy to “frack” for natural gas to make energy? And to power the liquefaction of natural gas (LNG), for which, in all likelihood, there will be no customers?
(By the way, Ms. Clark, have you even the faintest idea what the fracking process is all about, and the undetermined environmental impacts?)
Yes, Mr. Dix must come clean with his program and I intend to ask him questions like these. But you are the premier. You must deal with these issues and do so in specific terms, not barfed up stale marshmallows.
I assure you that you will hear about these issues again, for many British Columbians, including me, believe our environment and the fauna and flora it creates and protects is worth more than simply a token amount that they consider, and write off, as a cost of doing business no matter how much that may be.
You knew about "Ethnicgate" from the beginning. You had to.
I was there, Ms. Clark, and know how government works - especially when the civil service is involved in politics. With a program this size - in the hands of your senior adviser; with the complexity involved, meaning the number of people in the know; and given the channels through which this sort of plan (or should I say plot) must pass, even if you had not wanted to know, you still would have been informed.
That’s what Premiers are all about.
If – and I say this couldn’t happen – you didn’t hear or say anything, then your incompetence is beyond belief (actually, come to think of it, there’s plenty of other evidence on that point). If this is the case, then you must resign.
If, on the other hand, you knew what was happening, Premier, then you must also resign.
You make the point that “nothing crossed your desk”. But we know from the Privacy Commissioner that your government puts nothing of importance in writing.
Out of a lengthy cabinet meeting, one minister, John Yap, ran onto his sword as a sacrificial lamb. That’s a little like throwing people off the sled to the howling wolves so they will be content before they reach the driver. It is not going to work.
Even within the pitiful media, which has given the Liberal Government a free pass for 11 years, this matter will not go away.
Kash Heed is right. An examination by your own deputy minister is laughable and I wonder at why he took the task. He should have refused to get into a political matter which also involved his colleagues or offered his resignation. Only an outside person of repute, like Ted Hughes, can approach the matter with the clean hands and clear vision required.
Madam Premier, you should personally do what you would have demanded of an NDP minister in similar circumstances: RESIGN!
Your party is in danger of a wipe out like the one you inflicted on the NDP in 2001. This means that your party could in itself be in danger of collapse, for in heavy rejection by the voters, the cabinet ministers are often the first to go.
Your clear answer is two fold – resign and appoint someone from your caucus who can make the best of the May election and be in a position to rebuild the party. It was the refusal to do this in 1991 that cost the Socreds not just the election but their own party.
Who knows? When your self-inflicted wounds result in a catastrophe, maybe the Socreds will return! Stranger things than that have happened in BC politics!
To close, Premier, I will be dealing with environmental matters that your government has avoided and continues to avoid but I’ll leave on this note:
Either you are lying through your teeth or you have no business in the premier’s chair (I suppose it could be both) and must resign.
First, I feel sorry for Christy Clark. She is, no doubt, a very decent person and mother.
Her mistake was assuming that she had the ability to govern. She’s scarcely the first person to make that mistake, nor will she be the last.
I know “I told you sos” are not popular but I have to say it: I told you so. Clark had been a mediocre cabinet minister at best. She chose to sit out the rotting Campbell years and had no noticeable power base.
To make things worse, she won with but one member of caucus supporting her and when she awarded him a cabinet seat this was resented by more obviously qualified backbenchers. In short, damned near her entire caucus has, if not a death wish for her, at most taken a luke warm “let’s wait and see” approach.
Her two years in office have been a nightmare for her, especially since BC Rail and the HST were legacies from the Campbell dictatorship.
Unless the Liberals want a wipeout, like they administered to the NDP in 2001, they must quickly change leaders and my observation tells me that George Abbott is their best hope.
The best examples of this situation in modern times go back to 1989 with the Socreds and 2001 with the NDP and Ujjal Dosanjh.
There are differences. Vander Zalm did win the 1986 election and his resignation was so long postponed that his successor Rita Johnston had no chance. Moreover, there were no stars waiting in the wings. Even with all that, Rita Johnston avoided a wipe-out and had the party put Grace McCarthy in the leader’s chair, the Socreds would certainly have been competitive in the 1991 election - and even of she had lost, the Socred opposition would have been able to refresh the party.
In 2001, the NDP were split by the truckloads of new members brought in to support Dosanjh and he should have done what so many advised him to do - come out of the leadership convention and call an election. Instead, his dithering would bring about the party's downfall months later.
The chance of a Liberal win in 2013 rates up there with the miracle of the fishes and the loaves - and even with a new leader the best they can hope for is having a decent opposition.
After the 2001 election, former Premier Bill Bennett told the Socreds to keep the party legally alive because who knows?
“Security and police agencies have been increasingly conflating terrorism and extremism with peaceful citizens exercising their democratic rights to organize petitions, protest and question government policies…” goes the story.
Watch out, you long-haired, bearded dissidents! (alas I fit that description!) Big Brother is watching you!
Actually, I have some experience in this field. In the 1992 Constitutional referendum campaign, John Crosby called me “Canada’s most dangerous man”. Prime Minister Mulroney called me a "traitor" and, according to my “spy” in the Conservative caucus, Mulroney was considering ordering an income tax audit on me.
Fracking is indeed cause for concern. The use of this controversial technique for extracting natural gas is new and worldwide.
With all this, there has been precious little in the way of environmental study done - and that which has is raising all manner of concerns. Where does the water come from? At the end of the process, where does the badly polluted water go? What about the instability of the area after the gas is extracted?
What about economic concerns? Huge promises are being made by our premier about building an industry to supply new Asian customers with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from BC. If China has a 300 year supply, why would they want to import LNG? What impact will this have on the Tar Sands and the pipelines to the BC coast?
By and large, the only economic studies have been done by the companies, hand in hand with compliant governments.
However, I’ve gone too far. You’re best to destroy this blog, lest, studying these points brings an early morning visit from CSIS, as they brave all slings and arrows of criticism.
Evidently, dissenters, under the cover of democratic principles, promote mistrust of and disobedience of our farsighted governments and huge international companies who only want what’s good for us. I mean, how can anyone question the orders of the Harper and Clark governments with their impeccable record on environment and public safety concerns?
Read this story from The Vancouver Observeron BC Premier Christy Clark's recent address to a global conference on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) being held in Vancouver this week. During her remarks, Clark touted BC's gas as "clean" - but a growing body of science undermines this claim. (Feb 26, 2013)
A key component to Premier Clark’s feel good message to potential LNG investors at the B.C. LNG conference Monday was the assertion that natural gas provides “a chance for us to help the world transition to the cleanest fossil fuel on the planet.”
But experts disagree. Recent studies by respected institutions have found that:
1) Natural gas is not the cleanest fossil fuel on the planet – fugitive emissions make it is as bad for the climate as coal;
2) Natural gas has no role as transition fuel unless there’s a global price on carbon; in fact, it will increase the world’s climate risk.
Natural gas produces as much climate pollution as coal
Natural gas’s reputation as a climate solution stems from the fact that on combustion it has the least emissions per unit of energy than any other fossil fuel. That’s only half the story. If you look at the full life cycle of the gas, you see the other half. Natural gas is methane, which is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide prior to combustion. It’s so light that it floats out of the ground, leaking out at wells and drilling sites. If more than 2% leaks, natural gas is worse for the climate than coal.
A 2011 study by the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) concluded that “Our results show that the substitution of gas for coal as an energy source results in increased rather than decreased global warming for many decades.” If it were to actually replace coal, there would be extra warming through 2050 and a minimal reduction (under 0.1 degrees C) in the 100-year time frame.
Natural gas a “bridge to nowhere” without a global price on carbon
The IEA warned of the particular danger that governments would reduce renewable subsidies and opt for gas instead at the urging of the gas companies. This is exactly what Premier Clark has done in the past week: tabled a budget that reduced renewable energy incentives by cutting the “innovative clean energy special account” by two thirds, from $14.97 million to $5.03 million and announcing a $120 million royalty credit program for the LNG industry.
“The cleanest LNG on the globe”
Premier Clark told the lunch time crowd of about 300 gas industrialists and potential investors that the provincial government was working with B.C. Hydro on supplying the power for the proposed LNG plants but had also amended the Clean Energy Act so the plants could use natural gas to feed their massive energy needs and this would ensure that reliable renewable power would be used:
"We’ve taken action with BC hydro to ensure that BC not only has the power supply to fuel the LNG industry but also to create the environmentally cleanest LNG that has ever been produced anywhere on the globe.
Discussions continue with proponents on how to best serve their needs but in order to preserve as much flexibility as possible we’ve already amended the Clean Energy Act and this has allowed discussions to take place on how best to ensure reliable renewable power can be used to meet the huge energy demand from LNG."
How does reclassifying natural gas for purposes of the Clean Energy Act ensure the use of renewable power? Premier Clark seems like she wants to ride two horses that are heading different directions.
Climate secretariat turns a blind eye to LNG’s ability to crush legislated targets
Earlier in the morning, James Mack, Head of the British Columbia Climate Action Secretariat, stated that LNG exports would reinforce B.C.’s climate leadership role and echoed Premier Clark’s fiscally convenient belief that natural gas is part of a global energy solution. He stated that the planned export of 2 trillion cubic feet of LNG could displace 1000 coal plants – an outcome that won’t happen, according to the IEA, absent a global price on carbon.
The BC Liberal Government's speech from the throneon February 12 - which hinged on promises of a $100 Billion windfall from BC's heretofore nonexistent Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) industry - was an appalling attempt to divert attention away from reality with pie in a distant sky.
This government must be thrown out and one can say with certainty that any replacement would be an improvement.
Billions in a few years hence, perhaps trillions after that. We’ll become the LNG capital in the world! There are one or two dark spots on this sunny painting we should look at carefully.
The LNG will come largely from fracking, which is taking the world by storm. It involves drilling deep underground into shale beds where gas is trapped, then drilling horizontally through them, and ultimately pushing huge amounts of chemical-laced water through to crack open the shale and force the gas to the surface. Under Christy Clark's grand LNG scheme, this gas would then be transported by pipeline to Kitimat or Prince Rupert, where it would be converted into LNG for export, mostly to Asia.
The first questions - the conditions precedent to this operation - are to do with the environment. In a radio interview with the CBC's Rick Cluff Wednesday, Premier Christy Clark repeatedly referred to this gas as "clean". Really?
Where does this water come from? The requirements are immense, so a large supply must be found.
Where does the chemically loaded water go? Into the water table, thence to the water supply of local residents?
What is the impact of the extraction of this gas on the stability of the area? Will there be earthquakes as a result of fracking, as a recent report from the Oil and Gas Commission suggests?
What is the impact of huge water extractions on the general ecology of the the supply area? Are there fish losses? What happens to the fauna and flora after the water is extracted? What impact is there on people, especially First Nations? What will be the impact of the water lost to this process on BC Hydro and its ratepayers - like the billions of litres coming from the Williston Reservoir?
There is this question Premier Clark won't deal with because she doesn’t give a damn - what about the impact of pipelines (all four of them proposed to cut across BC), especially on wildlife?
The fact is that these concerns are being dealt with in several regions with a moratoriumon the enterprise until the answers to these and other questions are answered.
What we do know is that these sorts of concerns do not bother the Chinese in the least, which leads into the major economic concern. Asian prices are high now - 5 or 6 times higher than in North America, which is the basis for this whole scheme. This is a direct reflection of the current lack of cheap, local supply.
One doesn’t have to be an economic genius or Nostradamus to predict that our proposed customer, China, will find plenty of shale and be awash with natural gas.
Even if China does not develop its own supply, who says BC can compete with other countries, such as Australia, which is into this big time?
Another nasty question: how does Premier Clark know how much tax room there will for BC in this development? Are we to suppose that the feds will see huge money without wanting to get into the taxing game themselves, big time?
It should be noted that at present there is no LNG plant in BC.
This is the bunch that wants to be re-elected on May 14. This is their blueprint. Not only have they done nothing to relieve our financial woes they have taken us for fools by feeding us a load of unattainable and inedible pie in the sky.