Don’t eat that, Elmer. Them’s horse buns!
The BC Liberal Government's speech from the throne on 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 a "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 moratorium on the enterprise until the answers to these and other questions area 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.
So here’s the rub - what if China develops its own supply of “fracked” gas? What happens to the overseas market price then?
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.
This government is unfit to govern.