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Posted: December 13, 2015

Why should B.C. taxpayers be on the hook for this expense?

Letter to the Editor

It appears that the Liberal Government of B.C. is once again poised to bring back another ‘carbon offset’ scheme in the form of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) indulgences or incentives.

The online newspaper Business in Vancouver recently revealed a new policy discussion paper, where the BC Liberals could use carbon offsets and credits to allow LNG and even coal fired power plants to be built in B.C. and still remain within the ‘cap’ on greenhouse gas emissions (under the present Clean Energy Act-2010.)

At the moment, the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act has set emission limits at 0.16 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of LNG produced.

So, an LNG company would have the choice to buy into “renewable” energy (like wind power or run-of-the-river electricity) or simply buy offsets. Buying offsets is the cheap solution for a company because you really cannot see or verify the offset in any realistic way. Trying to prove “compliance” of the offset would be very difficult and expensive to monitor.

This brings up the question about the BC Liberal plan to initiate the ‘LNG Environmental Incentive Plan.’ It seems that this Incentive Plan would require the Province of B.C. to help finance the monitoring and other compliance requirements for LNG companies.

The Incentive Plan being devised by the BC Liberals would allow taxpayer subsidy of energy companies by helping them stay within the province’s GHG limitations.

Why should the taxpayers of B.C. be on the hook for this expense?

Publicly funded institutions of B.C. are already burdened by offsets created by the BC Liberals, required of school boards, hospitals, municipal governments when failing to meet ‘carbon neutrality’ objectives set in place by Gordon Campbell. In 2014 alone, these taxpayer funded public institutions paid $16.5 million in mandatory offset penalties. Meanwhile, that money was used as ‘credits’ towards a number of industry projects.

The ultimate ‘subsidy’ from the BC Liberals comes in the form of the Site C Dam. By building the $9-16 billion dollar taxpayer funded project, LNG and related industries will get their cheap power and their ‘credit’ towards their offset on pollution. That’s right… the taxpayers of B.C. have been duped once again by BC Liberal policy.

One year ago, the Joint Panel Review regarding the Site C project was denied the right to examine the possible use of our natural gas in lieu of Site C due to the Liberal’s Clean Energy Act.

Calgary just completed the natural gas powered Shepard Energy facility for less than $1.5 billion, which produces more energy than Site C will at a $9 billion initial cost. The BC Liberals have conveniently ignored this option.

This is truly disgraceful conduct involving the most expensive infrastructure project in B.C. history.

Rick Koechl and Mike Kroecher,

Charlie Lake

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