VICTORIA – Adrian Dix and the BC NDP continue to flip-flop on how they would supply the electricity to power British Columbia’s bright natural gas future.
Earlier this month, BC NDP Energy Critic John Horgan said he was supportive of burning natural gas to power liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Asia. “If you have to burn a little bit of gas to do that I think that’s a reasonable discussion to have.” (Voice of BC, Shaw Television, June 9)
But yesterday, Horgan did a 180 degree turn and refused to support the government’s decision to classify natural gas as clean energy when it is used to power LNG plants in Northwestern B.C. “To say you’re clean if you’re burned in the north but you’re dirty if you’re burned in the south makes no sense at all.” (CBC Radio, June 21)
“Exporting natural gas to Asia will create thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars of additional tax revenue to fund health care, education, and social services,” said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines. “On one hand the NDP say they support this burgeoning industry yet on the other hand it’s apparent they don’t have any common sense solutions to meet its future power requirements.”
The decision to declare natural gas has gained the support of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce whose president, John Winter, stated that the LNG sector, “will now be able to expand beyond current power restrictions to create jobs in B.C. and increase exports abroad.” (Vancouver Sun Online, June 21)
In addition to changing their position on using natural gas as a cheap and reliable option to power LNG facilities, Horgan also said the NDP would delay BC Hydro’s plans to expand generating and transmission facilities. “Some of these projects are going to have to be delayed.” (Voice of BC, Shaw Television, June 9)
“Planned new facilities like Site C are required to power natural gas export facilities. Delaying these projects would jeopardize thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment,” said Coleman. “The NDP are twisting in the wind. They flip-flopped on Site C, they flip-flopped on IPPs, and they are now flip-flopping on natural gas electrical generation.”