MLA Report: Will B.C. receive full value for its natural gas?

BC Liberals need to make sure province gets fair share of natural gas revenues, NDP MLA Norm Macdonald writes.

Premier Christy Clark has stated that our province is in a race with the rest of the world, a race to develop our Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry and retire British Columbia’s debt with the royalties.But when it comes to government completing the work that needs to be done, the BC Liberals are barely out of the starting gate.

One of the critical things that government must accomplish immediately is to establish the Tax and Royalty regime under which LNG will be produced, and no corporation is going to make any commitments until these key questions are settled.

Mindful of the need to move quickly, the Premier promised that legislation to establish tax and royalty rates would be before the House in September 2013. But instead, the Legislature did not even sit in the fall of 2013.

Next, the Premier promised that the legislation would be ready for the 2014 spring session. On May 29, we wrapped up the spring sitting, and the BC Liberals are now promising the LNG tax and royalty rates will be ready for the House in fall 2014. This is no way to win a race.

Meanwhile, things are continuing to shift in global LNG markets and the projections on which the government is basing its promises of LNG prosperity are getting less and less realistic. But the BC Liberals continue to bank the province’s entire future on this plan.

As a province that is rich in resources, we have many experiences with what happens when a government mismanages the development and sale of our resources.

As the owners of these resources, which we hold in common as British Columbians, we can be enriched tremendously through proper use and management. But we can also be left impoverished when our government miscalculates the needs of the global market.

One recent example was the privatization of B.C. rivers for run-of-river power production (IPPs) to feed presumed global demand for electricity. BC Hydro was forced by the government to pay for the construction of private power projects through over-priced, long-term energy purchase agreements.

As a result, BC Hydro will pay out $55 billion over the next 30 years for power we don’t need. And reduced demand for electricity due to the increased availability of natural gas means there is less interest outside of B.C. in buying our surplus electricity. Since BC Hydro is a Crown Corporation, that $55 billion comes out of your pocket.

Will LNG development be a similar story? Will British Columbia receive full value for its natural gas? Or will BC follow the example of Australia and heavily subsidize construction of LNG plants while receiving little in return?

These are the questions I want Premier Clark to answer. If you are also curious, send the Premier an email at premier@gov.bc.ca.

 

Just Posted

Muralist on board for Revelstoke’s LUNA Nocturnal Wonder festival

One of Kris Kupskay’s next projects is a mural on a 22… Continue reading

Chance of showers may not be enough to rid Okanagan of smoke

Wind and chance of thunderstorms competing factors in this week’s forecast

Darke Lake residents under evacuation alert

Fire crews battling wildfire in rural community west of Summerland

Puppies picked up by BC Wildfire crew to be returned to family

They were just leaving the Monashee Complex of fires when they found the cutest creatures.

BC Wildfire crew rescues lost puppies

They were just leaving the Monashee Complex of fires when they found the cutest creatures.

Filmmaker captures the smoke that enveloped the Shuswap

Check out this video of the haze that blanketed the Salmon Arm

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark criticizes feds for buying pipeline

The $4.5 billion purchase of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline second worst decision, she said

Blaze near Olalla grows to 527 hectares

The Old Tom Creek fire that started Aug. 15 is burning near Keremeos

‘Takes more courage to fail’: B.C. ultra-marathon swimmer reflects on cancelled try at record

Susan Simmons halted her swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back because of hypothermia

Animals moved from B.C. Interior shelters to make way for pets displaced by wildfires

The Maple Ridge SPCA houses animals to make space for pets evacuated from B.C.’s burning interior.

$21.5 million medical pot plant to be built in B.C.

The facility is to be built in Princeton

Spokane man enlists 500,000+ box fans to blow wildfire smoke back to B.C.

Spokane man Caleb Moon says he’s had enough with smoky skies from B.C.’s forest fires blanketing his city

Feds agree to look at easing jury secrecy as part of review

At issue is a law that forbids jurors from talking about closed-door deliberations

Forest fuel work needed to slow wildfires, B.C. premier says

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan joins John Horgan for tour

Most Read