Opinion: Clark selling out future generations to placate Malaysian oil and gas giant

Climate change denial and environmental indifference is central to the premier's support of Petronas.

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She can’t be bothered to think about a report, late last year, by Britain’s chief scientist (remember, we used to hear from publicly-funded scientists in Canada? Now they're locked behind closed doors, and fronted by PR hacks) that compared the potential hazards of fracking to those of thalidomide and asbestos

What does Clark really believe? 

This view of climate change as an anti-capitalist plot falls in line with “the (US Republican Party’s) 169 climate deniers, Big Oil, the Koch Empire and all hard-right conservatives” who are madly shoring up the crumbling edifice of climate denial

Her main thesis, which could have been cribbed out of a recent public relations report from the Fraser Institute, asserts that “energy use and economic output grow together over time… if you limit energy use you damage future economic growth prospects." In other words, limit energy production (and the Fraser Institute, for some reason, considers that renewable energy plans do that) and the economy falters. 

(On almost the exact same day the Fraser Institute piece was published, a detailed analysis of energy use and economic growth, by the University of Calgary’s Canadian Energy Systems Analysis Research group, showed that “between 1995 and 2010, the output of the Canadian economy grew by 46% but because of the improving energy productivity of the economy, the demand for fuels and electricity only rose by 12%.” In other words, increasingly efficient use of energy produced economic growth three times greater than the increase in the actual energy supply.)

Christy Clark won’t admit what the fossil fuel industry itself sees more and more clearly — renewable energy is the future of energy production world-wide. Industry, fighting a rear-guard action to mitigate this trend, has infiltrated international renewable energy trade bodies, causing a slowdown in support for renewable energy expansion. As one commentator noted: “From being system-relevant, renewables were suddenly becoming system-dominant. The big companies decided that ‘if you can’t beat them, join them. And if you join them, slow them down so that you can survive in the market.'” 

The premier's approach is far simpler: just act like renewable energy isn't there.

Another situation, same problem

On Thursday Feb. 5, the BC Liberal Party held a fundraiser in Woodfibre, sponsored by a company called Woodfibre LNG, a few weeks before a B.C. government decision was due on its planned facility near Squamish, in the pristine coastal waters of Howe Sound.

Woodfibre LNG is a subsidiary of Pacific Oil and Gas Ltd., itself a subsidiary of Royal Golden Eagle, a $15-billion holding company owned by Indonesian businessman Sukanto Tanoto, who, at a net worth of $2.3 billion, is one of the richest men in that country. He is also “considered by many to be one of the planet’s worst environmental plunderers,” according to a recent report, causing well-documented and extremely troubling rainforest destruction, orangutan habitat obliteration and human rights offences. 

No More Pipelines poster on Sukanto Tanoto

Squamish city council has already voted against test drilling for a pipeline to the proposed plant and the grassroots advocacy group No More Pipelines has prepared an information poster, with references, about the Indonesian magnate’s unsavoury past. 

Where to now?

Christy Clark, in her obsessive pursuit of fracking first and every other economic driver last, is leading this province, a key destination for visitors and tourists from all over the world, and a hub for IT and other businesses, into a disaster zone. She is doing this even though the fossil fuel industry plays only a very tiny part of the overall B.C. economy

I believe this calls for pushback. I think it’s time for citizens to look at the facts, not slanted government public relations announcements, and do something about it.

I think we should commit to standing shoulder to shoulder with the honourable and fact-based stand of the Lax Kw’alaams Band, a stand that is of benefit, in the long run, to every single British Columbian.

And wouldn’t it be a fine thing if a few thousand people gathered on the steps of the legislature, on July 13, and made it clear to Christy Clark that this outrageous flouting of science, ecological principles, the economy of B.C., and the strongly stated opinion of our First Nations friends and neighbours has to stop?

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