Amid international reports that a $40 billion liquefied natural gas project is set to go in northern B.C., the provincial NDP government is working on ways to make it fit into an ambitious plan to restrict greenhouse gas emissions.
In the first question period of the fall session of the B.C. legislature, Premier John Horgan hinted at “significant benefits that are coming our way any day now.”
B.C. Energy Minister Michelle Mungall was also careful not to let slip details of an announcement by the Shell-led LNG Canada consortium that could come as soon as this week. She said she is excited about the prospect of LNG Canada going ahead with a pipeline from northeast B.C. gas fields and LNG export terminal at Kitimat.
“We’re looking at $23 billion in revenue to B.C.,” Mungall said on her way into the legislature. “We’re looking at 10,000 jobs throughout the economy, in the oil and gas fields and right down to tidewater.”
Both Mungall and Environment Minister George Heyman emphasized that its development of a new LNG framework was done with the NDP’s four conditions in mind. Those are a fair rate of return for the gas resource, jobs and training for B.C. residents, partnerships with affected Indigenous groups and fitting within the province’s latest climate goals.
B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver avoided LNG in his first question period, and pressed Heyman about their common goal to stop the Trans Mountain oil pipeline. In March, when the NDP revealed additional tax concessions for LNG, Weaver said the province would need “magic” to meet its emission targets with even one LNG development.
B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson said the difference between his government’s efforts to land an LNG plant and the current situation was market conditions in the international LNG trade.
Weaver has said that he would work with the NDP minority government on a climate plan, which Heyman says will be released later this fall.
In negotiating the Greens’ agreement to support the NDP minority, Weaver demanded and got a new climate target of a 40 per cent reduction in B.C.’s carbon dioxide emission targets by 2030, and 80 per cent by 2050.