The B.C. government announced today that it’s “overhauling the policy framework” for future liquified natural gas projects.
The move is an attempt to secure a final investment decision from LNG Canada, which is expected this fall.
The project, if given the go-ahead, would see the construction of a natural gas pipeline from northeast B.C. to Kitimat, where a new terminal would process and ship LNG to Asian markets.
It would be the largest single capital project in the province’s history, with a total investment of $40 billion, creating up to 10,000 construction jobs and 950 full-time jobs.
Partners on the project, such as Shell, are expected to meet next week.
Big Exemption in the Works
Among the potential perks is a rebate for LNG Canada that could total up to $6 billion in the form of a PST exemption on facility construction costs.
“This is a different approach from the previous government,” said Horgan. “This new approach is one I believe British Columbians want to see from their new government.”
Although the approach may be different, it actually contradicts Horgan’s own sentiments from 2013.
Old @bcndp quotes dug up by @bcliberals – “Green MLA Weaver votes for BC Liberal LNG bill that permits secret subsidies for Shell and others.” – David Eby, Twitter, Apr 15/15. "Shell does not need handouts from government, in my view.”– John Horgan, CFAX, Feb 26/13 #bcpoli
— Richard Zussman (@richardzussman) March 22, 2018
Responses to the Government’s announcement are expected to come from both the BC Green Party and the BC Liberals this afternoon.
Four Conditions for Future Projects
In addition to the rebate, the government also introduced a policy outlining that all future LNG projects must adhere to four guidelines.
According to a media release, projects should:
- Guarantee a fair return for B.C.’s natural resources.
- Guarantee jobs and training opportunities for British Columbians.
- Respect and make partners of First Nations.
- Protect B.C.’s air, land and water, including living up to the Province’s climate commitments.
“No premier or government can dismiss this kind of critical economic opportunity for the people of British Columbia,” Premier Horgan said. “But neither will we turn our back on our commitment to climate targets, or our path to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”