Feds, B.C. to push elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of LNG

The Prince George Citizen - - Front Page -

SUR­REY — The fed­eral and Bri­tish Columbia gov­ern­ments want to power the pro­duc­tion of the nat­u­ral gas in­dus­try in the prov­ince us­ing elec­tric­ity.

As part of an agree­ment an­nounced Thurs­day, the two gov­ern­ments and BC Hy­dro are form­ing a com­mit­tee to push projects that in­crease power trans­mis­sion.

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau said the agree­ment is aimed at re­duc­ing green­house gas emis­sions from the nat­u­ral gas in­dus­try, which pro­duces about 18 per cent of the car­bon pol­lu­tion in the prov­ince.

“We’re tak­ing another ma­jor step for­ward in the fight against cli­mate change,” he said, adding that elec­tri­fi­ca­tion will also cre­ate jobs.

B.C. Pre­mier John Hor­gan joined Trudeau in mak­ing the an­nounce­ment at a BC Hy­dro train­ing cen­tre in Sur­rey, say­ing the two gov­ern­ments are work­ing to make the econ­omy more en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able.

Hor­gan said the agree­ment also takes ad­van­tage of BC Hy­dro’s abil­ity to pro­vide clean en­ergy for in­dus­try in the prov­ince.

“Our gov­ern­ments are work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively to elec­trify in­dus­tries and re­duce emis­sions as we put B.C. on a path to a cleaner, bet­ter fu­ture,” he said in a state­ment.

En­vi­ron­men­tal groups have crit­i­cized Hor­gan’s NDP gov­ern­ment for its back­ing of the liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas in­dus­try in B.C., ar­gu­ing changes to the prov­ince’s tax struc­ture and sub­si­dies are help­ing a sec­tor that in­creases car­bon pol­lu­tion. The fed­eral and provin­cial gov­ern­ments have boosted LNG Canada’s plans for a $40-bil­lion project in Kiti­mat, which is ex­pected to cre­ate 10,000 con­struc­tion jobs and up to 950 per­ma­nent po­si­tions in the pro­cess­ing ter­mi­nal on the coast of B.C.

Trudeau said Thurs­day’s agree­ment builds on that project.

The three-page agree­ment says $680 mil­lion in “near-term” elec­tri­fi­ca­tion projects are be­ing con­sid­ered for pos­si­ble fund­ing.

B.C. Green Leader An­drew Weaver said the deal and the prov­ince’s fi­nan­cial com­mit­ment to it is a fur­ther sub­si­diza­tion of fos­sil fuel de­vel­op­ment, in­clud­ing for projects that have not yet been built.

“The NDP gov­ern­ment is not only pro­vid­ing more sub­si­dies for the growth of the fos­sil fuel sec­tor but are also ne­glect­ing their re­spon­si­bil­ity to this prov­ince to be mak­ing the in­vest­ments for an al­ter­na­tive fu­ture,” he said in a news re­lease.

Weaver said he sup­ports the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of in­dus­try, but it must go be­yond pro­vid­ing help for the gas sec­tor.

“Bri­tish Columbians are look­ing for lead­er­ship that is in­vest­ing in their fu­ture by sup­port­ing the in­dus­tries of to­mor­row, not the di­nosaurs of yes­ter­day.”

Mer­ran Smith, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Clean En­ergy Canada, said in a state­ment that the agree­ment de­liv­ers a crit­i­cal com­po­nent to B.C.’s cli­mate plan.

“Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion is the thread that ties all cli­mate ef­forts to­gether. Pow­er­ing our cars, our homes and our in­dus­tries with clean elec­tric­ity is the only sus­tain­able path for­ward.”

CP PHOTO

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau talks with hy­dro work­ers after mak­ing an an­nounce­ment at BC Hy­dro Trades Train­ing Cen­tre in Sur­rey on Thurs­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.