B.C. provided $830M in fossil fuel subsidies in 2017-18: report

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VANCOUVER — A new report says the British Columbia government gives hundreds of millions of dollars annually in subsidies for fossil fuel, including $830 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

The report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, an environmental think-tank, says most of the money is provided to fossil fuel producers rather than consumers.

Co-author Vanessa Corkal says oil and gas companies are supposed to pay royalties meant to provide benefits to B.C. residents, including by helping fund health care and education.

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But she says every year companies claim credits to reduce the royalties they pay and the report estimates B.C. has amassed at least $2.6 to $3.1 billion in outstanding royalty credits.

Tzeporah Berman of environmental group Stand.earth is urging the province to end subsidies to the oil and gas industry before the next election to ensure it can meet climate targets.

The B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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