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Proposed BC LNG Exports

Extracts from a keynote panel presentation by Nigel Protter MBA, at the 9th annual BC Power Summit, held May 7, 2014, in Vancouver.

This two-day conference was led off by a keynote panel featuring Doug Little, BC Hydro’s Vice-President of Energy Planning and Economic Development; Keith Sashaw, President and CEO, Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of BC; and myself.

The curious thing about these types of conferences, and there are more and more of them now that the BC Government’s LNG scheme is aspiring to reach critical mass, is that economic risk factors to BC residents and businesses, and of course climate change and GHG emissions factors, are rarely mentioned. We tend to only hear about the “incredible” potential economic benefits, the roll-out strategies and plans, and the mitigation/compensation strategies to address regional impacts; from pipeline routes, to Aboriginal title and rights, and to local ecosystems and air sheds.

When we look at energy issues at BCSEA we have to consider all three critical sustainable development factors from both global and BC standpoints: economics, society, and the environment. So when I am asked to speak at these kinds of events, it usually falls to me to remind the room that climate change still exists, and that the risk of negative economic and global scale environmental impacts to BC rate-payers and tax-payers need to be fully understood and addressed before any LNG scheme can be approved. Yet these critical sustainability factors appear to be all but ignored under the current state of affairs.

We three keynote panelists each had about 15 minutes to address the room to set the stage for the next two days of conference proceedings, and this was followed by a lively panel discussion and Q&A. I decided to use graphics rather than words to tell a sobering BC LNG story - that the scale and scope of the energy to be used in the proposed BC LNG export scheme is going to be larger and more transformational to BC and its environment and economy than all previous industry in BC from colonization until today - including all of BC Hydro’s heritage hydro dam projects and all of BC’s other industries’ various energy impacts combined. I suspect many will be surprised at the very large scale of the BC LNG energy and emissions figures shown following!

I prepared the following charts using data developed by Tom Hackney, BCSEA’s Policy Director. The charts along with my commentary constituted the bulk of my presentation - enough said! The data used to create these charts is publicly available via the link below: