The provincial government released its Liquefied Natural Gas Strategy in 2012 that outlines a scenario of three LNG facilities operating in BC by 2020. Since the release of that strategy, LNG has become a key pillar of the government’s economic plan. It has been boasted as an opportunity to create 100,000 jobs for BC with the potential to generate $100 billion in provincial revenue over a 30-year period.
While the LNG industry will provide economic and employment benefits for BC, it should be noted that these government projections have not been independently verified and may be overstated.
There are many steps that need to be taken before BC experiences the massive increase in jobs and revenue that the BC government has projected. Before investment decisions can be made, the province must finalize its negotiations with industry over a tax regime and long-term contracts need to be signed with overseas buyers. Given that there are many countries around the world developing LNG, investors are seeking the most affordable and secure location. It is yet to be seen if BC will be able to lock down a final investment decision on any of the proposed LNG projects, and whether they will be able to meet their robust revenue projections.
Along with regulatory steps such as gaining environmental assessment approval, proponents need to achieve First Nations support and broad social license. To date, only the Kitimat LNG and Douglas Channel LNG proposals have environmental clearance. Given all these steps, critics caution that betting the province’s future prosperity on LNG may not be viable.
A Clear Look at BC LNG: Energy security, environmental implications and economic potential
David Hughes | Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives | May 2015
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from the west coast of Canada have been heralded as economic salvation for the province of British Columbia. This report undertakes a reality check that reveals several major problems with this narrative, both in the stewardship of finite non-renewable resources by provincial and federal governments, and in the environmental implications of large-scale development.
Path to Prosperity? A Closer Look at British Columbia’s Natural Gas Royalties and Proposed LNG Tax
Marc Lee | Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives | April 2014
This report examines the assumptions behind the BC government’s projection of a $100 billion "Prosperity Fund" from LNG exports, and finds that the returns promised to the public are not realistic.
BC LNG: A REALITY CHECK
David Hughes | Global Sustainability Research Inc. | 2014
The BC government has made huge promises of $100 billion dollars and 100,000 jobs from the LNG industry in the province. The National Energy Board has granted seven LNG approvals to date, which would require 50,000 new gas wells in BC. Hughes questions if this is the right path for the province and warns that it may not be wise for British Columbians to ‘count on the LNG bonanza.’
Laying the Groundwork for BC LNG Exports to Asia
Gerry Angevine & Vanadis Oviedo | The Fraser Institute | 2013
This study estimates British Columbia’s economic opportunities that would flow from exports of liquefied natural gas to Asian markets and explores Canada’s obstacles to taking full advantage of opportunities to develop important alternative markets for unconventional natural gas.
British Columbia’s Natural Gas Strategy
Province of British Columbia | 2012
This strategy outlines the LNG opportunity in BC and is based on four key pillars:
- Greater emphasis on market diversification to increase the value of BC's unconventional natural gas.
- Support job creation together with industry, educators and communities.
- Continued strong leadership on clean energy and climate change moving forward.
- A redefinition of the Province's self-sufficiency policy to ensure BC is well-positioned to power expansion.