Tom Fletcher (BC Views, April 11) says “It’s still pretty easy being Green.” True. And it’s getting easier, as more and more voters recognize the impracticalities of the NDP and Liberal platforms.
The old-fashioned parties want to harness the province’s economic future to natural gas development and LNG exports. To this end, we are prepared to accept Japanese loan guarantees of $10 billion to help build an LNG plant, to borrow a further $8 billion to flood the Peace River at Site C to power this plant, and (says Premier Clark, along with resounding silence from Mr. Dix) to forgive the first $5 billion in gas royalty revenue to encourage gas development through conventional means and fracking. So a total of at least $23 billion in borrowing or foregone revenue, all of which will need to be repaid from, of course, selling carbon fuels to Asian customers.
None of us wishes to continue to add carbon to the atmosphere, and none of us wishes to endanger groundwater in the North. We know that from our grandchildren’s point of view in just a few years, these actions will look profoundly greedy, short-sighted and unethical. Still, we buy the old nonsense about having to trade off environmental health against sound business decisions.
But this LNG rush is bad business too. Other sources of natural gas are being developed around the world and prices are coming down, not up. Dependence on gas exports to Asia will compound our existing problems of raw commodity sales instead of developing value-added businesses in BC. Further subsidization of the carbon industries means even more distortion of market forces which, in the absence of such subsidies, would help encourage development of renewables. And mortgaging the future of the province with these long-term loans and subsidies means that we will permanently give up flexibility in resource development and economic policies. Bad business, bad economics, bad social policy. Bad politics from all the conventional parties. Frack ‘em all.
Yes, it’s easy being Green. For more and more people, it gets easier every day. See you at the polls on May 14.
Candidate, Fraser-Nicola Electoral District
Green Party of British Columbia