Environmentally and Economically BC's Natural Gas Export Fantasy is About to 'GO BOOM'

Today's article at The Tyee by Andrew Nikiforuk 'The Making of a Natural Gas Glut' is an excellent summary of how and why the LNG, Fracking, Pacific Trails Pipeline and the Site C Dam add up to an economic disaster for BC. It references Deborah Rogers' report for the Post-Carbon Institute which shows "how the financial investment con-artists have manipulated the industry for their own benefit [what's new eh] and that rapid decline rates and poor recovery levels means limited revenue for resource owners such as the people of British Columbia and recommends that governments such as British Columbia that have actively served as cheerleaders for shale gas development with public subsidies need to urgently revisit their public policy." Instead though the government of BC is doubling down.

BC's, and many other jurisdictions', fantasy scenarios center on the huge China and other Asian markets buying LNG from them. Even before all these fantasies started it became obvious that fracked shale gas was everywhere. Before places like BC got much past the exploration stage world gas prices started to plummet. From Texas, to Australia, to Russia, to the Bakken, and lots in between, fracked shale gas is everywhere and the smart money is selling fast. The big users like China will have their own fracking operations or will import it from Russia which has the biggest reserves in the world and can supply China much more cheaply than we can. Australia will also be able to deliver LNG to Asia much cheaper than BC can.

Then there's the far greater issue of the long term environmental costs that every living thing in BC would end up paying if the government and investors are allowed to once again hoodwink its present citizens into another resource boondoggle. Leaving aside the CO2 pollution caused by the leakage of methane [between 4% and 9% where testing has been done] and the envioronmental cost of the resources embedded in this fantasy there's still the obvious...

Fracking requires huge amounts of water to extract the natural gas from the shale. The gas export fantasy starts with taking hundreds of millions of litres from the Williston reservoir every few weeks [which would cut it's eclectic generating capacity] and injecting it along with a mysterious mix of chemicals under thousands of square miles of healthy watershed resulting in the destruction of huge amounts of drinkable water in an increasingly thirsty world. Why? Not for jobs as these capital intensive fantasies create very few jobs and even less spin off jobs, but for short term profits for the investment crooks.

Turning natural gas into liquid requires huge amounts of electricity. BC plans to build three liquid natural gas plants near Kitimat but the electricity needed for just one LNG plant is equivalent to that needed by three Catalyst Paper mills -- B.C.'s largest electricity user. The Kitimat LNG plants would use about 1,600 megawatts of power to liquefy its billions of cubic feet of gas for export, that's equivalent to one and a half Site C dams. BC's government has said that the ecologically disastrous Site C Dam would be built at a cost of at least $8 billion borrowed dollars to power the Kitimat LNG fantasy.

Then there's the Pacific Trails Pipeline which would First Nations and environmentalists are protesting because it too will end up costing big bucks and destroy a huge swath of virgin forest. All this 'lost' in the name of short term financial 'gain'  for a few already rich greedy investors before the bubble bursts. As Ed Deak say, "Anybody who proposes and supports this fantasy is either a crook, or a goddamn fool."