Premier Christy Clark, in her feisty fashion, recently accused anyone opposed to her LNG dream or the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership as being a card-carrying member of the ‘forces of no.’
As something of a naysayer myself when it comes to an export that is going to threaten the lives of my children and grandchildren, if it is pumped into the global market with unrestrained enthusiasm, let me offer a few suggestions as to how Premier Clark might get some people to grudgingly agree to LNG.
I might say yes:
• If the Liberal government puts in place a plan that ensures carefully constrained and considered investments in LNG, that don’t leave B.C. committed to exporting unlimited quantities of this polluting hydrocarbon for decades to come.
Surely that would be in line with the premier’s stated objective of using LNG as a bridging fuel between carbon intensive coal and the far more sane option of developing carbon free energy sources.
• If the premier shows us a robust plan for taxing LNG producers and investing those tax dollars into green energy research and development. Promoting LNG as a cash cow that’s going to pay down our debt, keep taxes low, and create jobs is really smoke and mirrors, deflecting us from the sure sources of future prosperity: green tech.
• If the premier can demonstrate that her LNG passion won’t make it impossible for B.C. to achieve the carbon reduction targets it had set itself before she came into power (33 percent of 2007 levels by 2020), and offer iron clad assurances that cheap hydro power (cheap for industry, that is, at the expense of ordinary British Columbians) will never be used for the incredibly energy intensive process of liquefying natural gas for export.
• If B.C. comes clean on its mining and export of coal globally, and includes that honestly into the overall calculation of domestic emissions, and the emissions our exports allow others to continue spewing.
Looking at the list, I believe it makes most sense to say “No” to LNG, and encourage our premier to stop being such an uncritical booster of YESterday. But I’m willing to be persuaded.
Craig Spence, Editor