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COMMENTARY · 22nd June 2012
Merv Ritchie
In two days we were delivered two news releases on electricity and natural gas from the BC Liberal Government Caucus. Both were complete bullcrap portraying the Liberals to be the defenders of jobs and the environment when the precise opposite is true.

These news releases are so absurd we almost do not know where to begin. Hardly a shred of truth to be found and the spin is so dizzying one almost wants to avoid addressing it, but we must. Someone needs to charge these jerks with a crime against human dignity. Treating those who elected them with such disdain is unforgivable.

The subject is the sales of Natural Gas to offshore locations through Kitimat. The first topics to consider is the source and the market. And to be able to compress this gas to a liquid (LNG) an enormous amount of electricity is needed. Therefore this is the second topic to consider, the required supply of electricity.

First, the market. In 2007 the plan was to import LNG for the bitumen sands in Northern Alberta. The Federal and Provincial governments passed the environmental reviews and gave it the go ahead. This came to a screeching halt one year later as the new method of natural gas recovery, fracking, revealed a new unlimited source.

One must ask themselves about this market.

If there was enough excess in the international market to finance and build a pipeline along with the harbour facilities to import it cost effectively, now with a new domestic excess; how reliable is the international market?

Are British Columbians preparing for a market which might evaporate?

The other part of this issue is the source, fracking. This is a proven highly destructive method of gas recovery. It is blamed for destroying all water supply’s, rivers and streams, wells, ground water and water tables. In regions where it is taking place new earthquakes have been occurring where none have occurred before. This method is now being banned all across the United States. Are British Columbians preparing for marketing a product whose method of recovery may shortly be outlawed in all of North America? Without fracking there would be a shortage.

Next issue to debate is the required electricity. The news releases make this issue very confusing to the uninformed reader. A responsible government would attempt to educate, not confuse.

Site ‘C’ is the name for a large proposed dam on the Peace River near Fort St John, BC; downstream from the WAC Bennett and Gordon Shrum Dams and Williston Lake (the reservoir). The news release attempts to imply we need this power to compress the natural gas. For this to happen BC Hydro would have to build an entirely new transmission grid from one side of BC to the other. Currently the connecting grid to the north west area of BC from Prince George is already at full capacity.

The Northwest Transmission Line (NTL), a project already underway, is far too small to accommodate the required power. It is even too small to provide the power requested by the various mining projects.

Stating we need Site ‘C’ to sell natural gas is an outright blatant mis-representation of the truth. Some would use the word “Lie”.

The only truthful part is the burning of natural gas to create the electricity required to compress it into LNG. This is the only reality possible at this time.

Enormous electrical turbines could be powered by the same gas the pipelines are delivering to the harbour at Kitimat. This is the only manner in which the LNG project could proceed. There is no other possible source of electricity.

Even the NTL cannot provide the power. The mining companies are already being told they have to limit the amount they use. Seabridge Gold Executive Vice President, Jay Layman stated at a recent visit to Terrace they will need to provide their own supplemental power as BC Hydro cannot meet their needs even after all the planned power production facilities are completed.

Consider the wording then of the following news releases.

The Liberals attack NDP energy critic John Horgan by suggesting BC needs Site C to export Natural Gas and laughably throw at the reader the emotional motherhood issues;

“revenue to fund health care, education and services for the most vulnerable.”,

- while they do everything to uneducate and poison the water supply of BC residents while reducing services.

The green energy contracts Minister John Les is defending, will not, cannot, power the LNG plant and these BC River powered Hydro Electric facilities should not be IPP (Independent Power Producer) contracts. They should be owned by the people who own the rivers, the BC government for BC residents.

Paying a company to construct these plants and then paying them a rate higher than BC could buy power anywhere else on the open market is not just stupid it is a criminal breech of the fiduciary duty of our government. Maybe even a criminal breech of trust.

The second news release (read them both in their entirety below) attempts to use the FOX News trick, attaching a label to someone and use it repeatedly hoping to make it stick. In this case they use the words “Flip Flop” when referring to Horgans statements of Natural gas and power production.

The issue is not the burning of natural gas to create the electricity to compress it into LNG to export it, it is the change of the classification to allow the gas to be used to create electricity anywhere and everywhere.

To export LNG from Kitimat they need to burn it. There is no other way to get the electricity to compress it. This is the fact the BC Liberals continue to mis-represent. Horgan is being honest and the BC Liberals are being deliberately dishonest.

Horgan accepts, in the effort to facilitate the LNG export, they need to burn natural gas. Therefore he accepts they might need to make an exception in this particular case and the BC Liberals quote him in this regard, "If you have to burn a little bit of gas to do that I think that's a reasonable discussion to have."

And having a discussion should require truth not lies such as this statement, "Planned new facilities like Site C are required to power natural gas export facilities. Delaying these projects would jeopardize thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment," said Coleman.

What a load of nonsense, how is Site ‘C’ going to power Kitimat and the NTL?

And the BC Liberals go further with their mis-information campaign. Take this entire stand alone paragraph.

But yesterday, Horgan did a 180 degree turn and refused to support the government's decision to classify natural gas as clean energy when it is used to power LNG plants in Northwestern B.C. "To say you're clean if you're burned in the north but you're dirty if you're burned in the south makes no sense at all." (CBC Radio, June 21)

It almost sounds as if this quote is by Horgan. This paragraph is set up like all the rest, a quote and the attribution to the source. This is a Liberal quote, not Horgans.

If Horgan is willing to make an exception to allow gas to be burned to facilitate LNG exports from Kitimat he should be applauded, not attacked. And this doesn’t mean LNG should now be allowed to be burned everywhere. There is no "flip flop" as the news release alleges.

A responsible government would be looking to Ontario, which during their recent heat wave has discovered they have all the electricity they need. Their conservation programs have reduced the demand substantially.

The BC Liberals appear to be worse than corrupt; they are insidiously, maliciously deceiving British Columbians. The BC Liberals have consistently been rated as the most unpopular government in Canada, their leaders the most unpopular in North America. One must wonder why the mainstream media still touts them as this great unfailing example of leadership when they are the most embarrassing bunch of crooks the Canadian population has ever experienced.

The last sentence of the second news release states;

"The NDP are twisting in the wind. They flip-flopped on Site C, they flip-flopped on IPPs, and they are now flip-flopping on natural gas electrical generation."

The Liberals should be flip flopped on their heads. Maybe all the Cabinet Ministers and Liberal MLA’s should take there own flip flops to the beaches in Bermuda where their corporate crony’s (Accenture of Arthur Anderson fame - those who Gordon sold the rights to manage BC Hydro to, and those who were/are behind the 'smart meters') hide the money in a tax haven.

A real government would put a stop to any expansion of fracking until all the environmental issues are resolved. A real government (like WAC Bennetts) would ensure British Columbia owned all the power production facilities from the rivers in BC. A real government wouldn't lie to the people every time they released information.

NEWS RELEASES FROM THE BC LIBERAL GOVERNMENT CAUCUS

Lights Out: BC NDP Threatens to Black Out B.C.’s Bright Natural Gas Future

Chilliwack – The NDP have a lot to say, but when asked how they would supply the electricity to power B.C.’s clean natural gas future, the silence is deafening.

Recently, BC NDP Energy Critic John Horgan confirmed suspicions his party would delay electrical generating projects such as Site C, and possibly cancel green energy contracts with independent power producers required to power British Columbia’s natural gas future.

Liquid natural gas facilities require significant amounts of electricity, yet while discussing BC Hydro’s plans to expand generating and transmission facilities, Horgan said “some of these projects are going to have to be delayed.” (Voice of BC, Shaw Television, June 9)

Instead of supporting Site C, Horgan said the NDP would delay the clean, renewable electricity it would produce.

“Our government believes liquid natural gas has the potential to create thousands of jobs around the province, and provide revenue to fund health care, education and services for the most vulnerable,” said Chilliwack MLA John Les. “By delaying power projects, Adrian Dix and the NDP have made it clear they have no plan to meet the future power demands required to capitalize on this opportunity of a lifetime.”

Additionally, Horgan said the BC NDP might not honour green energy contracts with independent power producers. “We’re going to look at each and every one them – no question.”

“There's a clear contrast in philosophies here. Our government is looking forward, with a long-term strategy to deliver jobs and growth to B.C. But the NDP want to go backwards,” said Les. “The NDP’s focus on ripping up green energy contracts with independent power producers will make powering liquid natural gas facilities not only more difficult, but harder on the environment.”


NDP Continues to Flip-Flop on Liquefied Natural Gas

VICTORIA - Adrian Dix and the BC NDP continue to flip-flop on how they would supply the electricity to power British Columbia's bright natural gas future.

Earlier this month, BC NDP Energy Critic John Horgan said he was supportive of burning natural gas to power liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Asia. "If you have to burn a little bit of gas to do that I think that's a reasonable discussion to have." (Voice of BC, Shaw Television, June 9)

But yesterday, Horgan did a 180 degree turn and refused to support the government's decision to classify natural gas as clean energy when it is used to power LNG plants in Northwestern B.C. "To say you're clean if you're burned in the north but you're dirty if you're burned in the south makes no sense at all." (CBC Radio, June 21)

"Exporting natural gas to Asia will create thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars of additional tax revenue to fund health care, education, and social services," said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines. "On one hand the NDP say they support this burgeoning industry yet on the other hand it's apparent they don't have any common sense solutions to meet its future power requirements."

The decision to declare natural gas has gained the support of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce whose president, John Winter, stated that the LNG sector, "will now be able to expand beyond current power restrictions to create jobs in B.C. and increase exports abroad." (Vancouver Sun Online, June 21)

In addition to changing their position on using natural gas as a cheap and reliable option to power LNG facilities, Horgan also said the NDP would delay BC Hydro's plans to expand generating and transmission facilities. "Some of these projects are going to have to be delayed." (Voice of BC, Shaw Television, June 9)

"Planned new facilities like Site C are required to power natural gas export facilities. Delaying these projects would jeopardize thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment," said Coleman. "The NDP are twisting in the wind. They flip-flopped on Site C, they flip-flopped on IPPs, and they are now flip-flopping on natural gas electrical generation."

Complete nonsense coming from the liberals
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 22nd June 2012
We are supposed to flood more land to produce more electricity just so we can liquify natural gas to export to the Asia. This is all in the pretense that Asia will switch from burning coal to natural gas. If burning natural gas is supposedly green ,why don't we instead of extracting bitumen from the oilsands burn gas here in our country and reduce our carbon foot print?