An Open Letter To Governments of B.C. and Canada
Regarding the LNG Canada project, environmental damage and global warming:
The B.C. Government has entered into an agreement with a consortium of oil companies to build and extract LNG (liquefied natural gas), process it, pipe it to the coast, and sell it to China. Great! Rather than addressing climate change seriously and taking a leadership role, we get sucked into a short-term monetary gain.
You have sold this LNG extraction project to the citizens of B.C. and Canada as a way to fund the climate change fight. The federal government has also become complicit in this project by throwing our tax dollars at it. Both governments have promised to do more to meet climate change goals and claim to be committed to greenhouse gas reduction.
Have you actually listened to yourselves? One minute you are talking about the need to do more about climate change (climate “emergencies” are being declared continuously), claiming you believe the science. You say you see what’s happening, and promise to make this fight a priority; however, the next minute you are signing deals to frack gas and build pipelines to boost the sale of dirty oil (dilbit) from Alberta. All to fuel foreign economies.
The Government of B.C. website claims this LNG extraction, processing and transport will be state of the art and clean, which leads me to the following questions and comments:
- How will the “fugitive” gases be monitored, measured and reported?
- When methane is released into the atmosphere, how much will be allowed and at what point will the process be shut down?
- Who will be responsible for the monitoring and what will be the consequences of failures?
- There will be “flaring”. Will there be a limit to the flaring?
- Who will monitor the flaring and subsequent release of pollutants?
- If this release of methane is not strictly controlled, B.C. will not reach our climate change goals. Methane is estimated to be 80 times more “warming” than simple CO2. Was this scientific fact taken into account, and properly disclosed during consultations?
- On the website, the claim is this extraction will reduce the number of coal-fired electric generating stations by 20 to 40. What guarantees do we (Canada) have that these 20 to 40 coal-fired plants will be shut down and no new ones will be built?
- China is building or planning to build over 300 coal-fired generating plants and has invested heavily in coal. If this is what’s happening, your examples of what this LNG will replace is a moot point. Extraction of the LNG will simply add to the problem of global warming. It will add monstrous amounts of climate-warming gasses at all phases of processing, shipping and burning.
- Your website claims that this project will create up to 7,500 jobs during construction and up to 450 full-time jobs once complete. Are these 100% Canadian jobs?
This project will take 5 years to complete and cost us (the citizen taxpayers of B.C. and Canada) over $5B. I’m at a loss to comprehend why these big 5 (not Canadian) investor companies are not paying the entire amount. They are all extremely profitable companies:
- Royal Dutch Shell, 2018: $24.1B profit - up 33% from 2017
- Mitsubishi Corp.: 17.36B USD, an increase of 5.14B USD or 42% year over year
- The Malaysian-owned Petronas: 26B USD in 2018, up from 5.28 B in 2016
- PetroChina: Annual net income for 2018 was $7.947B, a 135.51% increase from 2017
- Korean Gas Corp.: 483.44M USD in 2018
It seems to me that WE are taking all the risk here and these companies will reap the majority of the benefits.
From what I read, it will take 40 years for us (B.C.) to make a $26B return. Three of these investor companies make more than that in a single year. Simple math tells us we will make $650M per year, but only after 5 years of construction. That sounds like a nice bit of change. However, relatively speaking it is not all that much. When one looks at the environmental damage to our land, water and atmosphere, factors in the global effect that gas will have from construction to burning of the gas in respect to climate change, it’s nothing short of ridiculous.
It is also disturbing that we, the taxpayer citizens, will soon face higher electricity prices associated with building Site C and new transmission lines for the benefit of the gas industry, by subsidizing their operations through rates that are much lower than the cost of new supply. While rates will likely go up for all customer classes as BC Hydro needs to pay for new infrastructure, LNG Canada is largely insulated from its own impacts on the grid (facility and upstream) by paying the lower industrial rate. At $47.71 per MWh, this compares to residential rates of $88.40 per MWh in the first tier and $132.60 per MWh for consumption above roughly 650 KWh per month. Was this little-known fact made public during consultations?
If these companies paid the entire shot to build this project, and paid the proper amount of taxes (carbon and sales), fees, electrical costs, we could be spending another $5.6 B or more on green energy projects, creating a huge amount of full-time Canadian jobs. Thousands of full-time “green” jobs rather than 350 to 450 pollution-spewing jobs.
At the same time, we would be keeping our electrical rates and our cost of living down and doing something actionable against climate change. We could be leading the world in the fight against global warming and climate change. It’s our resource. It’s our land. It’s our coast. If this project is going ahead, WE should be making the biggest profit, not foreign energy companies.
This whole project is a “money grab” by big business. These big oil companies are going to extract every dime they can before the fossil fuel industry comes crashing to a halt, and Canada is (literally) buying into it.
The fuel oil industry as we know it is coming to an end. We all know it. These massive extraction projects that the Canadian taxpayers are funding will be dormant long before we see any kind of useful return on investment. We will be left holding the bag, spending billions of dollars to mitigate climate emergencies while these huge companies’ shareholders retreat to their ivory towers and castles and live in luxury.
We here in B.C. will have to deal with all the extremes Mother Nature is about to unleash upon us, and we will only have ourselves to blame. We all know the effects of global warming are coming, and coming fast. I doubt any of these big companies will offer to help.
Greta said it best: “Shame on you”!
James S. MacDougall