Morning Reading on Liquid Natural Gas in British Colombia

Liquid Natural Gas in British Colombia

Lee, Marc, "Australia’s LNG catastrophe: Why Petronas’ LNG cancellation is a blessing for BC : Policy Note" (Policy Note, July 31, 2017).

Let’s recap: even if BC had an LNG industry today, it would be losing money on every tankerload sent to Asia. The people of BC would be paying higher prices for the gas they consume, while getting negligible public return for all that publicly owned gas. GHG emissions would go up instead of down, and there would be very few jobs.

Notes: Marc Lee argues cancelation of LNG project in BC by Petronas is a good thing because the investments only made sense at higher LNG gas prices, and because of all the negative ramifications for the province.

Crane, David, "Oil and gas development won’t be the big drivers of future Canadian prosperity " (The Hill Times, July 31, 2017).

“The projects mean 39,000 jobs to British Columbia during construction with another 75,000 full-time jobs created once in operation,” the Liberals said. Moreover, the platform said, the LNG jobs would be high-paying, in the $100,000-plus range. At the same time, “we can create $1-trillion in economic activity and create the B.C. Prosperity Fund with $100-billion over 30 years.” The platform went on the state that “the government has set a goal of at least three LNG facilities online by 2020.”

None of this has happened. Similar fantasies could be found in Alberta when oil prices were running above US$100. Alberta would have the lowest taxes in Canada, no provincial debt, and the richest public services. It would be a haven of super-prosperity, and the centre of the new Canada, displacing the old Canada of Ontario and Quebec. Today, Alberta is desperate to diversify its economy.

There will, of course, continue to be investments in the oil and gas industry. But this is now a humbled industry and our future strengths will have to be found elsewhere. That is the challenge.

Notes: Crane asks what if Canada won’t actually be an energy super power, what does that mean for the communities that were supposed to find employment and jobs? What might an anthropology of these projects that never were look like?

MacNamara, Kate, "'Dithering' by B.C., Ottawa helped kill Pacific NorthWest LNG, energy CEO says " (CBC News, July 28, 2017).

“The CEO of one of Canada’s biggest natural gas producers says “government dithering” played a role in the cancellation of a massive liquefied natural gas project in British Columbia. “They [Petronas] kept getting held up ...all levels of government were trying to squeeze more money out of them,” said Mike Rose, head of Tourmaline, among the largest gas producers in Western Canada.

Notes: Industry analysts blame BC government for failure the LNG, and argue that prices will rise in the future, with the US route as an export possibility.

The ECHO Research Group

UNBC, "UNBC to lead national research project on impacts of resource development " (UNBC, June 15, 2017).

NBC’s Dr. Margot Parkes and a team of researchers and partners from across Canada have secured a five-year research grant focused on working together across sectors to prevent adverse impacts from resource development, with specific emphasis on rural, remote and Indigenous communities. The study will receive $2 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Notes: Press release from UNBC about the ECHO research project at UNBC, working on preventing adverse impacts on rural, remote and Indigenous communities from resource development.

The ECHO Network, "The ECHO Network (Environment, Community, Health Observatory): Strengthening intersectoral capacity to understand and respond to health impacts of resource development" (UNBC, May 11, 2017).

Notes: Description of the ECHO research network in BC, Alberta, and NB, funded by SSHRC.