Coleman said despite the claims, the government is looking to minimize the potential harm, but the development of the natural gas industry in northern B.C. is a generational opportunity that comes with some environmental concerns.
Simon Fraser University climate scientist Mark Jaccard, a supporter of the Liberal Government’s climate-change fighting agenda, told the CBC the current Liberal Government must tell British Columbians that its promise of jobs today could potentially threaten future generations.
“B.C. Hydro could get the electricity for those plants without burning natural gas… What I’m afraid of is that people will start to burn natural gas and that means we don’t meet our provincial climate target and politicians have to come clean on that.”
Jaccard also questions the moral principles behind the use of natural gas, saying, “I actually think it’s a really interesting question for humanity because what you are basically saying is we’re not going to worry about (your) kids, but we’re going to make sure our incomes are good enough right now.”
Coleman says plans to construct a pipeline from northeast B.C. to Kitimat, where frozen natural gas will be placed will be placed into tankers and exported to Asia, represents an opportunity to create thousands of jobs and billions in revenue for business and the government.
“If we can move our natural gas at a price that’s higher worldwide it means that everybody benefits, the communities, First Nations, the job creators and the people with the jobs.”
Coleman says that with a few changes, B.C. Hydro feels the province has enough electrical power to start up and supply clean electrical power for the first two plants. However, the third and largest LNG plant, scheduled for 2020, will likely require natural gas as its primary energy source.
He also acknowledged that the third plant could threaten the province’s law to cut greenhouse gas emissions by one-third by 2020, but the government is considering storing the emissions underground and is looking at wind and run-of-river opportunities for the plants.
According to Coleman, the government is plans to release its LNG strategy later this month or early Feb. and he has already reviewed a draft plan.
For a look at the full CBC, click here.