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Premier Clark at LNG conference: BC will not be undersold

Premier Clark’s sense of urgency at the BC Province's LNG conference was similar to that of climate stability advocates – except that hers is for rapid deployment of the LNG industry. This is a new day of opportunity, she told the audience, but these decisions need to be made today, now, this year. Neither the private sector nor BC can do it alone. Premier Clark extended her hand in partnership to the global oil industry representatives present in the room, several times. 

The first of the day’s two announcements from the Premier’s Office: a loan of $32 million to the First Nations Limited Partnership to invest in the Pacific Trails Pipeline.

The announcement followed a signing ceremony for a benefits agreement between Apache Corporation, Chevron Canada Limited, and the First Nations Group Limited Partnership, which consists of 15 First Nations along the Pacific Trails Pipelines route.  The pipeline will service the Kitimat LNG plant that is a partnership between the Haisla First Nation,  Apache and Chevron. According to the press release, the benefits agreement “provides up to $200 million in financial benefits over the life time of the pipeline” to the signatory First Nations, as well as business and training opportunities.

In her second announcement, Premier Clark announced $120 million in royalty credits to the LNG industry, reassurance that B.C. will be the “most competitive regime on the globe” in terms of taxes and royalties for natural gas rights. The competitor is Australia which reportedly sells its natural gas for 33% more than B.C. Premier Clark reassured the crowd of LNG executives and investors that B.C. would not be undersold.

Premier Clark claimed BC would enable the “world transition to cleanest fossil fuel on the planet.” That’s an undeserved reputation: recent studies show natural gas from fracking to be worse than coal in the twenty year time frame due to the potency of natural gas (methane) as a greenhouse gas and no better than coal in the 100 year time frame. 

In addition, studies show that its relatively low price (due to the externalized cost of climate damage) would displace investment in renewable energy sources.  Provincial plans would enable about 300 million tons of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere by 2020. B.C.’s 2020 climate target, for comparison, is about 40 million tons.

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