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who cares we finally have a mental health and addiction ministry again.
Can John Horgan’s new B.C. government really stop Kinder Morgan?
'I look forward to his call': Kinder Morgan President downplays threat to his flagship project from BC NDP
This decision is probably irrelevant because the Petronas project is probably already dead at least for the foreseeable future
Perhaps Michelle, just on principle, should cancel these permits, eh!
“Technology renaissance” transforming oil sands in situ production – lowering costs, carbon-intensity
A technology revolution is taking place in the Alberta oil sands. Suncor and Cenovus, two of the largest oil sands producers, released their sustainability reports earlier this week and both are making steady progress toward the goals of reducing the carbon-intensity of their crude oil by a third by 2026.
BC's LNG Industry dealt another blow as Regulator forced to Re-Review their Gas Pipeline
Federal appeal court rules National Energy Board erred in previous ruling
It's party time at BC Hydro and rightfully so
What a complete waste of 1/2 a million dollars
Isn't it time to end secrecy in government?
Fired Hydro boss dealt Musqueam a piece of B.C. Place casino action, just in time for 2013 election
How much sleaze is possible from the Christy Clark Liberals?
Exclusive: On campaign eve, Bennett and company rubber-stamped a secret Site C contract increase
To nobody’s surprise, BC Liberal insider Brad Bennett is now the ex-BC Hydro chair.
On his first full day in office, July 19, NDP Premier John Horgan replaced the Christy Clark loyalist with former Powerex executive Ken Peterson. The move was announced July 20.
CHRISTY CLARK (LEFT), BRAD BENNETT, BILL BENNETT (NO RELATION) AND JESSICA MCDONALD. (BC GOV)
theBreaker can reveal shocking information about Bennett presiding over a pivotal, 15-minute board meeting just before Clark’s huge campaign eve fundraiser.
According to documents obtained under freedom of information, the BC Hydro and Site C project boards met at 4 p.m. on April 10 in a joint session at the Crown corporation’s Vancouver headquarters. The next morning, Bennett reprised his role as Clark’s main traveling supporter and advisor when the election campaign formally began.
At the joint meeting, Bennett and company received an update on the tension crack that delayed work on the $9 billion dam and they rubber-stamped an increase to the value of the main civil works contract with Peace River Hydro Partners. Dollar figures in the minutes and a confidential board briefing were censored, because BC Hydro fears that public disclosure would cause it financial harm. BC Hydro officials have refused to answer questions from theBreaker.
The board briefing said that the Feb. 11-observed tension crack on the haul road “interrupted the left bank excavation schedule by approximately two and a half months.” It said the delays can be accommodated within the PRHP “contractor float of three months.”
“Recent events such as the left bank tension crack and left bank claim have caused increased pressure on the main civil works contingency such that an additional project contingency draw for main civil works is required prior to the June board meeting. It is anticipated that a draw of (censored) million is required as an interim measure prior to June 2017.”
In December 2015, BC Hydro signed a $1.75 billion contract with PRHP, a consortium of South Korea’s Samsung, Spain’s Acciona and Alberta’s Petrowest. Hydro claimed PRHP was the lowest bidder, but has not revealed the identities of those shortlisted for the biggest public works contract in the province’s history. Though the low bid always looks like a win for taxpayers, the Charbonneau Commission inquiry on construction corruption in Quebec warned that defaulting to the lowest bids on public contracts can open the door to cartels and bid-rigging.
Records also show that the board resolved on Feb. 22 to increase the amounts to be paid to engineering design contractors Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd. and SNC-Lavalin. The dollar amounts were also censored.
The quarterly report to the B.C. Utilities Commission for the period ended March 31 said $321.1 million in contingency funds had been allocated from the $391.7 million released to management so far.
But BC Hydro is keeping secret the actual amounts spent on the project.
Appendix D in the quarterly report to BCUC is labelled “Detailed Project Expenditure” but the copy for the public reads “Confidential Attachment Filed with BCUC Only” in big, bold letters. The quarterly report says the project is on track for November 2024 service, but it warned that the federally approved Kinder Morgan pipeline twinning “could impact labour prices and availability of skilled labour” and lead to cost increases.
Horgan promised to send the Site C project to the BCUC for an expedited review before deciding its fate.
So Moe Sihota may still become the CEO of BC Hydro as apparently that position has not yet been filled
Earthquake Expert Proposes 'No Frack Zones' around Critical Infrastructure
Measure would protect public from growing threat of industry-triggered quakes
Let's get the ball rolling, eh!
One less thing Michelle has to concern herslef with, eh!
George Heyman thought it would be great to stand up and say environmentalist killed Petronas however if the truth be known it was just basic math that did them in.
Unfortunately what's missing, and what Suzuki has been preaching for decades is that environmental costs have to be built into the business community's financial statements. Maybe the BC Government could set a good example and start the process with their own books, eh!
‘Basic Economics’ Kill $11-Billion LNG Project on BC’s Coast
Malaysian oil giant Petronas pulls out of project, citing ‘changes in market conditions.’
We can blame Harper for this mess as it was he who stacked the NEB with industry insiders, and the Supreme Court of Canada finally said, about paying lip service to Canada's Indigenous Peoples, enough is enough.
A tragedy for Canada’: Petronas cancels $36B LNG project as B.C. jacks up demands
Claudia Cattaneo: With energy prices collapsing, and the business in B.C. having a tough time remaining viable, Pacific NorthWest LNG needed less, not more government costs and regulations
Pumped and dumped: Petronas pulls plug on B.C. plant, Coleman feigns fury
..from an email
Imagine fires are raging in your community. There’s an evacuation order, and wildfires are surrounding you on the south, west and east.
As you leave your possessions behind, worrying about your family’s future, you get word that a mining company that you’ve been fighting for years has been given permits to drill and build roads on your land.
This is the outrageous situation facing the Tsilhqot’in. In the dying hours of the Liberal’s hold on power, they gave Taseko Mines permission to further destroy Tsilhqot’in lands despite the mine having been rejected — TWICE — by the federal government.
With their territory aflame, the Tsilhqot’in must now go to court — again — to stop Taseko.
“We are in shock,” says Chief Russell Myers Ross. “ It defies compassion that while our people are fighting for our homes and lives, BC issues permits that will destroy more of our land beyond repair. As a Nation, we have wasted enough time and energy in conflict. The project has been rejected twice federally. It is time to move on.”
In the middle of fighting wildfires, the Tsilhqot’in Nation is now challenging the B.C. permits in court. The permits authorize 76 km of new or modified trails, 122 drill holes, 367 test pits dug by an excavator, and 20 km of seismic lines near Teztan Biny and Nabas – an area of profound cultural and spiritual importance that the Tsilhqot’in successfully fought to protect against two mine proposals. Both times, the rationale for the rejection was similar, highlighting the devastating impacts of this mine on the environment and Tsilhqot’in culture and rights.
We thought that we were in a new era, a post-Tsilhqot’in decision era. These permits call into question BC’s commitment to Indigenous peoples. It is an insult to the Tsilhqot’in people and to this new era of truth and reconciliation.” — Chief Roger William, Chief of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation and Vice-Chair of the Tsilhqot’in National Government
Maybe you should address your concerns to BC's Official Opposition, the Clark Liberals, eh, the people who committed these outrageous acts!
..do they come to babble? :) i posted for info but this will surely become part of the ndp file.
Go away Vaughn, who cares about your comments trying to absolve your political masters of any blame.
All this was was one sleazy Eastern government (Malaysian) trying to cut a deal with another sleazy Canadian provincial government (BC), and they both got screwed in the process.
Vaughn Palmer: Blaming marketplace for LNG retreat convenient for political critics
Cry us a river Mike!
The usual NDP media bashers seem at a loss how to discredit John Horgan
Putting the brakes on one of the sleaziest Clark Liberal government moves every made
Economics baby, economics!
Why Petronas cancelled its plans for a LNG project on BC's coast
LNG in BC is deader than a doornail.
What you will never ever read in the CBC, nor anyone else in Canada's mainsteam media!
How BC’s LNG Fiasco Went So Wrong
Government, cheerleaders were blind to market forces that doomed the pipe dream. Will NDP make the same mistake?
If you want to understand how global economics killed British Columbia’s risky liquefied natural gas gamble and the government’s promised riches and jobs, then you might want to hear out Eoin Finn.
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The failure of B.C.’s LNG strategy, symbolized by last week’s death of the $11-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal, is really a story about government deceit or ignorance.
“We acted like a Third World country,” declares Finn.
The B.C. government never had a coherent financial strategy, never did a proper cost-benefit analysis, and then got into bed with opaque, foreign-owned businesses, including one with links to tax evasion.
In short, Clark’s government failed to exercise any due diligence, Finn says. It made a series of reckless promises and then failed to express any regret about its outrageous mistakes.
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The government’s behaviour explains why not one of proposed 20 LNG terminals has been built and, partly, why Clark is no longer premier.
The political scheme was a boondoogle from start to finish, says Finn. Clark funded the fiasco with nearly $2 billion in tax breaks and subsidies.
Finn knows what he is talking about. He has a PhD in chemistry and worked as a partner with the global accounting consulting firm KPMG for six years. Finn’s specialty was business strategy.
As a resident of Bowyer Island in Howe Sound, Finn was looking forward to retirement until he learned about Woodfibre’s proposal to build a LNG terminal in Squamish.
Finn pored over the available project documents and couldn’t find any financial benefits for the province. Nor was he impressed to learn that another company owned by Singapore tycoon Sukanto Tanoto, Woodfibre’s owner, had been found guilty of tax evasion. Or by how the government proposed to manage risks to public safety and the public purse.
He became, in short, “an accidental activist.”
B.C.’s LNG fantasy abruptly started with a 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the globe’s largest importer of LNG. The disaster damaged a nuclear power plant and led Japan to shut down 54 reactors, bringing a spike in demand for LNG in the energy-poor country. As a consequence, global LNG prices rocketed from $8 per million BTU to as high as $18.
At the same time Gwyn Morgan, the former CEO of Encana, one of North America’s largest gas producers, had become a financial backer and key political advisor to an ambitious Christy Clark.
Morgan, then also chairman of engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, a prominent LNG builder, knew the natural gas industry had a big problem. Companies had over-exploited shale gas reserves with the brute force — and costly — technology of hydraulic fracturing and flooded North American markets. When methane prices tanked, the price slump threatened the dubious economics of fracking, an industry based on easy credit and high debt.
Morgan’s solution was to kickstart an LNG industry in B.C. that could take advantage of Asia’s then-higher gas prices.
Clark’s government began pumping out documents on the imagined bounty to be earned by extracting methane, liquefying the gas and exporting it to Asia in 2012.
The documents largely mirrored Morgan’s rhetoric expressed in his Globe and Mail columns and the industry’s claims that fracked methane is clean, green and wonderful — a bridge fuel to the future.
But Finn notes Morgan “was a pretty biased source” because of his ties to two companies — SNC-Lavalin and Encana — that stood to benefit from the export of LNG.
It’s also noteworthy that Encana has donated $1.2 million and SNC-Lavalin $27,647 to the BC Liberals since 2005.
Then came the 2013 Grant Thornton report that claimed to tally the jobs impact of building LNG terminals in B.C.
The report boasted that the construction of just five terminals would create 100,000 jobs. A month later, the report became a key part of the Liberals’ rallying cry for the 2013 election.
But the government had commissioned the report. And it gave Grant Thornton the numbers used to construct its highly questionable job estimates for a global industry that is famously capital intensive, but not known for high employment.
The report’s fine print tells the whole story:
“Grant Thornton reviewed information provided by the province and its advisors with regard to project size, capacity, development cost and operating costs.... We are not guarantors of the information upon which we have relied in preparing our report.”
The mainstream media largely neglected to tell people that the report was government directed and that “Grant Thornton did not review feasibility studies and/or business plans for LNG project development and operation.”
Even the Canada West Foundation, a right-of-centre Calgary think tank, warned the B.C. government that it needed to do better LNG accounting.
It noted that Australia’s LNG projects were racing ahead, China could rely on Russian pipelines for methane supplies, and that “shale gas is expensive to develop.”
As a consequence, B.C.’s sudden sprint to enter the LNG market faced strong competition, high costs and “was not guaranteed.”
But Finn says nobody in the B.C. government or the mainstream media was listening.
Nor did anyone in the government want to consider the ecological cost of LNG, including the cumulative impact of drilling and fracking thousands of methane-leaking wells in northeastern B.C., or the effect on First Nations’ treaty rights.
Meanwhile the Liberal government vowed that LNG would make British Columbians rich and debt-free. The “debt-free BC” slogan was even emblazoned on Clark’s 2013 campaign bus.
According to 2014 B.C. budget documents, the province proposed to make billions in revenue based on a global spot price of $12 per million BTU and a spread of about $7 between the market price of LNG in Asia and the cost of producing gas from B.C.
But the cost of extracting shale gas in northeastern B.C. is at least $3 per million BTU, and Asian spot prices have remained below $10 for years. Before the Fukushima disaster, spot prices averaged about $6, a level to which they have now returned. That’s a spread of only $3 — not enough to generate any profits. That basic reality explains why every one of B.C.’s 20 proposed LNG projects have stalled.
“Whoever was doing the math didn’t have a clue,” says Finn.
The BC Liberal government also predicted the province would be reaping a revenue windfall after just five years of LNG operation.
Australia’s government promised the same reward. But record production of methane on that continent has generated skinny returns for the public and forced a public inquiry on the broken revenue promises.
Finn suspects the Australian government probably won’t earn anything from LNG exports for the first 15 years of a terminal’s operation. B.C., if it had ever developed an LNG industry, would likely have been in the same dismal situation.
In fact a Bloomberg news report described Australia’s experience with LNG — another rush to export with no due diligence — as a total disaster. “Everyone’s a Loser in Australia’s LNG Boom,” a recent headline summarized.
In 2014, just prior to the collapse in global oil prices (which are linked to global LNG prices), Finn says he asked Rich Coleman, then minister of natural gas development, some questions.
Given that Australia had LNG projects coming on stream, Japan was restarting its nuclear plants, Russia was building a gas pipeline from Siberia to China and U.S. LNG plants were cheaper and faster to build, how was B.C. going to get into the market?
Coleman said that B.C. had a competitive advantage because its proposed terminals were about 1,000 nautical miles closer to Japan than the east coast of Australia. (Since then Japan’s projected demand for LNG has dropped from 86 million tonnes to 77 million tonnes by 2020 as the country’s nuclear reactors come back on stream. This has further depressed LNG prices.)
And Finn says Coleman added that B.C. had another advantage: it was a “stable democracy” and China and Japan would prefer doing business with such upstanding folk.
Finn pointed out that the world’s second largest LNG exporter was democratic Australia and that’s where the conversation ended.
Coleman did not mention that most LNG analysts were already warninginvestors that high-cost projects in remote areas like northern B.C. didn’t have much of a chance of being built.
When it became obvious that global market conditions weren’t going to support the government’s LNG dreams, the government, which had already lowered royalties for shale gas production, poured on more subsidies.
The B.C. government cut its LNG tax from seven per cent to 3.5 per cent — among the world’s lowest.
It then added substantial subsidies. Finn has estimated that the “e-drive” electricity subsidy to Woodfibre LNG — a small project — is worth more than $34 million per year.
The Harper government also stepped in and upped the capital cost depreciation allowance for LNG developers from eight per cent to 30 per cent.
And without an economic or climate change analysis, the National Energy Board approved export licences to the tune of 290 million tonnes annually.
To keep that astounding figure in perspective, the global LNG supply, excluding Canada’s contribution, will be 385 million tonnes in 2020. Under the B.C. government plan, the province would have become the single largest LNG producer, worsening the worldwide LNG glut.
LNG development would also have jeopardized the nation’s energy security, as analyst David Hughes documented in a number of reports.
Meanwhile LNG developers such as Petronas used Clark’s reckless political promises about jobs and revenues to extract better concessions and tax breaks, says Finn.
But the giveaways could not conquer economics. In the end, the global LNG glut combined with slumping prices and persistent cost over-runs killed one project after another in B.C.
Analysts now predict that oil prices will have to climb to the $65 to $70 range per barrel for North American LNG to be competitive in Asian spot markets. Prices are currently below $50.
And Asian spot prices for LNG remain around $6 per million BTU, while North American costs for extracting and liquefying the gas range between $9 and $10. The math doesn’t add up.
Fereidun Fesharaki, chairman of consulting company FGE, recently told a U.S. audience that “Between 2017 and 2020 we are increasing the global supply by 40 per cent. [There is] no way we can increase the demand by 40 per cent in three years.”
To make matters worse Qatar, currently the world’s largest LNG exporter, has vowed to increase its LNG exports by 30 per cent over the next five to seven years.
Yet many mainstream commentators lamented Petronas’s pullout from B.C. as a symptom of a national failure to attract investment.
Why can’t we be bold and export LNG like the Americans in the Gulf of Mexico, asked Deborah Yedlin in the Calgary Herald.
Yedlin didn’t mention that Houston’s Cheniere Energy, the first U.S. company to begin exporting LNG, reported losses of $610 million in 2016 following losses of nearly $1 billion in 2015. The firm also carries a long-term debt load of $24 billion and its share price is down 47 per cent from its 2015 high.
Finn figures the whole province is lucky that global LNG prices killed the desperate scheme and spared B.C. a disastrous Australian LNG experience.
Australia’s so-called LNG boom delivered dramatic energy shortages, wild political volatility, a revenue bust and huge ecological costs for farmland and groundwater.
A couple of weeks ago, Finn said he offered to explain the volatile world of LNG economics to B.C.’s new NDP government.
So far it has declined.
Instead the new government promises to keep pursing the failed LNG strategy.
Taseko Mines halts exploration work at New Prosperity
Daily Poll: Thoughts on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline?
Another sign of Liberal incompetence. You have done one hell of a job Christy!
How big a fuckup is Site C turning out to be?
What are we going to find out next - that 90% of the employees working at Site C are not from BC?
Site C contractor's financial collapse another issue for utilities commission review
When the main civil works contract was announced in November 2015, then premier Christy Clark touted Petrowest’s connection to Fort St. John, where CEO Rick Quigley lives.
Quigley was replaced as CEO in May of this year.
Let's cut the bullshit about the location of the Head Office, eh!
PETROWEST, SUITE 160 - 4803 87 STREET, EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA(780) 809-3911
Michelle is going to be a busy lady
Is Moe Sihota headed for BC Hydro?
Will BC even see one LNG plant?
Nexen pulls the plug on LNG feasibility study in B.C.
Here we go with those secret government meetings again?
What's not to understand that 99% of government's business is the people's business and should be made available immediately to them, the public, as it happens?
Big Oil and Gas Helped Shape BC’s Climate Plan
Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Encana, Imperial Oil, Shell Canada, Suncor, Teck and Woodfibre Energy among the fossil fuel heavyweights invited by the BC government for secret meetings to craft the province’s climate change strategy.
Most troubling of all is that this was much more than a “consultation” process. The documents obtained make it clear that in fact the process constituted an invitation to the country’s most powerful oil and gas companies to shape both the substance and language of B.C.’s next climate plan. For example, the working groups on methane emissions and electrification were each asked to “refine language in CLT recommendation” and to “add detail and process direction” regarding timing and whether policy measures would be voluntary or regulatory. The working group on the carbon tax was asked to “ensure consistency with other jurisdictions” and to “determine ‘the art of the possible’ (how much and how fast).” The working groups were asked to come together to “work on offsets.” The timeline for the working groups also include the action item “finalize language” for the “CLP Framework” (i.e., Climate Leadership Plan Framework).
Our FOI request asked for minutes and/or summaries of the meetings and industry consultation process, but none were released to us. Pages 19 to 38 of the relevant records were withheld on the grounds they constitute advice or recommendations to a public body or minister (S. 13) and/or that they would be harmful to the business interests of a third party (S. 21). Perhaps these missing pages are the minutes and summaries. Or perhaps they are something else. We have asked the Information and Privacy Commissioner to review the government’s decision to withhold these records.
It should be noted that it took two FOI attempts to even receive this much information. In July 2016, we submitted identical requests to the Ministry of Environment/Climate Action Secretariat and the Ministry of Natural Gas Development for documents relating to any meetings or other communication between the fossil fuel industry and senior officials in relation to a wide range of energy and climate policy matters starting in January 2016.
The Ministry of Natural Gas Development withheld all documents having to do with the industry engagement process and Calgary meetings. The Ministry of Environment released the agendas for the Jan. 13 working group meetings (just the agendas, no other contextual information). It was only through a follow-up request to the Ministry of Natural Gas Development (now part of the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources) that we obtained the full set of documents reviewed here. These should all have been released in response to our initial request, along with material from the other rounds of working group meetings (and who knows what else).
In sum, the B.C. government carried out secret meetings in another province with an industry that is a top contributor to the BC Liberal Party to shape policy that ought to constrain that very industry — as any meaningful climate policy must do in relation to the fossil fuel sector.
Ironically, none of these meetings “count” as lobbying under B.C.’s current Lobbyist Registration Act, which doesn’t require meetings or communication invited by public officials to be reported by lobbyists. Meanwhile, no other sector — environmental organizations, First Nations, etc. — could even dream of this kind of access.
Michelle must have her hands full these days.
Proposed quarry near B.C.’s first interregional park on Sumas Mountain faces widespread opposition
BCUC Preliminary Site C Report Sep 20 '17
As if Michelle does not already have enough on her plate
The biggest driver of carbon emissions by 2025 won’t be coal or oil
Turns out natural gas — because of the way it is super-chilled for transport — isn’t as clean as many thought
Tough decision it may well be, but one thing for sure is that if it were to continue we need a project labour agreement with unionized workers who abide by safety rules completing the job
Why Christy Clark's Site C debacle has potential to haunt B.C. for decades
Christy Clark fights for Site C dam to the bitter end—despite the economics