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Media Statement: September 25, 2014
Petronas LNG Announcement Highlights Need for Economic Back-Up Plan

For Immediate Release

Victoria B.C. – Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and the Deputy Leader of the BC Green Party, says that Petronas’ threat to call off its $10-billion LNG project is another clear demonstration that British Columbia desperately needs an economic back-up plan.

“We have a government that has gone all-in on LNG,” says Weaver. “We have an official opposition that is essentially parroting the government in an attempt to appear job-friendly. The fact is, Petronas’ announcement has made clear what neither the government nor the opposition is willing to admit: That the promise of a ‘generational opportunity’ in LNG is a pipedream and we desperately need a back-up plan for when it fails.”

Petronas’ CEO, Shamsul Abbas, said that the development of an LNG export industry in Canada was over 40 years behind the United States. His statement echoes the conclusions of a recent Peters and Company report that noted that the U.S. Gulf Coast is now likely the most efficient place to construct LNG facilities in North America. In fact, according to regulatory filings, it would cost roughly twice as much to construct a facility in Canada as it would to build one on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Mr. Abbas was clear when quoted in the Financial Times: “Until investors cross the final investment line with an economically viable project, they remain just potential investors on paper”.

“I’ve been saying this since before the last election – the economics simply aren’t there for what the government is promising. It’s a race to the bottom to sell off our natural gas resources, at the expense of other opportunities.”

While, the government continues to double-down on LNG existing industries in B.C. have been neglected. A few years ago, B.C. was investing heavily in reliable, high-paying and up-and-coming sectors like the technology and renewable energy sectors. However with Premier Clark’s new singular focus on LNG, these sectors lack the certainty needed to continue to thrive. Anytime someone questions their approach, the government responds by saying “trust us.”

“We can no longer accept the government’s ‘trust us’ mantra on LNG development. Jobs and our economy are on the line here and British Columbians deserve to know that their government has a back-up plan for when the LNG dream fails.”

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Media Contact
Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
Mat.wright@leg.bc.ca
1 250 216 3382

6 Comments

  1. September 27, 2014 at 10:14 am

    You may raise a valid point on our government riding the whole economic plan on the LNG opportunity, but you have provided no alternative. So tell us what the best alternatives are, and best explain them with equal or greater detail and relevance if they are indeed valid.

    • September 28, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      Hello Ivan, thank you for the comments and sorry it took me so long to reply. I would suggest that I have been pointing to alternatives for quite some time on this website.

      Vaughn Palmer in this article

      give you a clue as to where a direction could be.

      While government doesnt create jobs, government does create an evironment that attracts industry. BC Has an opportunity to become leaders in the cleantech sector. Gordon Campbell realized this. I am loathe to put pout a major policy direction for the future of BC on a blog comment, but I will be putting together a comprehensive strategy over the months ahead to take to the party for approval.

  2. Tanya Shymko-
    September 26, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    There was the comment that Petronas made about taxes as well. Right now, corporate taxes are already at an all time low while individual tax payers carry the province. With the public now questioning this balance, I think that Petronas (& possibly others) are threatening to back out in hopes for more cuts. The current government has sold our province out. Our coast, lakes, rivers & land are in jeopardy from oil & mining. If they could not be bothered to follow up on warnings made to Mt Polley mine, how can we trust them to follow through on environmental concerns along the coast? And there is still a push forward for Site C when reports show other, more affordable, greener, less invasive options. I live near the Peace. It is running dry & can literally be walked across in spots. Yet the dam is still planned. Our beautiful BC is sadly withering away & we, the citizens, have a duty to fight to protect it!

  3. Angela Squires-
    September 26, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Why Canada is not generating solar energy is beyond me. I lived in an RV for 12 years with a 120 watt solar panel that generated my power needs Spring through Fall and that was mostly around the cloudy coast. In Winter I needed to supplement. If I owned a house I would put panels on the south-facing roof slope and provide much of my power needs.

  4. Karen Struve-
    September 25, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    If Petronas backs out, where will that leave Christy? Maybe she is going to have a sleepless night or two, as so many teachers and parents have had for three and a half months!
    We need a back up plan. What does the Green Party propose? I believe the taxpayers are ready to listen. People are looking for alternatives and for political leaders with integrity!
    PS. If you know her, give Adrienne Carr a hug from me!

    • September 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      In my view it is a “when Petronas back out”. Apache, Talisman, and Encana have pulled out already. During the election campaign and to this day I have said the same thing. The economics doesnt make sense. Have a look at this post in 2013:

      http://www.andrewweavermla.ca/2013/07/03/pipedream/

      and

      http://www.andrewweavermla.ca/2013/10/16/webinar-bc-sustainable-energy-association/

      We are missing out on opportunities in the clean tech sector (generation, transportation, storage and end use of renewable energy).

      Vaughn Palmer appears to recognize the opportunity:

      http://www.vancouversun.com/Vaughn…/9456227/story.html

      Why are we not atttracting these companies to BC? We could offer a wonderful quality of life for the employees. The answer is simple. Companies do not see government sending the right signals to the market.

      Adrienne is wonderful! I’ll sat hello.