B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver agreed to support Premier John Horgan’s NDP government last summer. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. VIEWS: LNG won’t bring John Horgan’s NDP down

Green leader Andrew Weaver’s Donald Trump-like Twitter tirade is just for show

Premier John Horgan’s off to Asia for his first trade mission this week, to carry on the B.C. Liberal government’s effort to promote B.C. tourist destinations, lumber and natural gas.

As Horgan and his team boarded a plane to head for China, South Korea and Japan, the latest threat of the minority NDP government’s junior partner was ringing in their ears.

“Lest there be any doubt, let me be perfectly clear,” B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver announced in a Donald Trump-style Twitter message last week. “NDP government will fall in non-confidence if after all that has happened it continues to pursue LNG folly.”

For further Trumpian emphasis, Weaver added a hashtag, #LineInTheSand. He returned to Twitter on Friday to pronounce that judging from his email, “many, many thousands” of B.C. NDP voters feel “betrayed” by Horgan’s plan to meet with liquefied natural gas investors in Asia.

That’s a lot of emails from people who supposedly voted for the NDP last year because they believed Horgan’s team opposed the export of LNG. They don’t, at least since the energy-savvy Horgan took over as party leader in 2014.

Yes, the NDP voted against a generous corporate tax structure put together by Christy Clark, Rich Coleman and the rest of the B.C. Liberal government that worked tirelessly to get the industry off the ground. It was seldom reported by city media, but Horgan said it repeatedly at the time: they were not voting against an LNG industry, only the terms of selling the resource offshore.

Yes, Horgan repeated time and time again that he wanted a scientific review of hydraulic fracturing, the deep shale gas extraction technique developed in Texas and used safely in B.C. for 50 years. He’ll go ahead with that, but as with Site C, when the study is done it will confirm as many other studies have that shale gas wells, like hydro dams, are proven technologies with enormous benefits.

Yes, after forming a minority government, Horgan gleefully followed through with this campaign promise to empty Clark’s LNG “fantasy fund” and use it to pay for cancelling Metro Vancouver bridge tolls for the next couple of years. In 2016, Clark directed then-finance minister Mike de Jong to take $100 million out of a growing surplus from your provincial tax payments, to create a long-promised LNG “prosperity fund,” before B.C. had a shovel in the ground for a large-scale LNG plant or related pipeline.

That pre-election stunt was a sequel to Clark’s biggest-ever promise, in the 2013 election, that the LNG industry was going to pay off the province’s debt.

Of course Weaver’s latest threat is also a stunt, like his switch from supporting to opposing the Site C hydroelectric dam in northeastern B.C. Once again, he is throwing a big chunk of raw tofu to his political base, to prevent himself from being buried under hurled organic carrots from the root cellars of Vancouver Island.

Weaver cites B.C.’s greenhouse gas emission targets, which would never be met if large-scale plants burned gas to compress and cool LNG for shipping in tankers. Those targets won’t be met anyway, as the latest emissions data released in December show. Greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise with population growth, dipping only during the harsh recession of 2008-09, despite the carbon tax we’ve been paying in the past decade.

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell during the same period because they substituted shale gas for coal. They’ve converted former LNG import terminals to export, and like Clark, Horgan has understood this.

Tom Fletcher is B.C. legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press. Email: tfletcher@blackpress.ca


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Alberni Valley Transition Town talks green planning

March 20 talk features Jack Anderson, speaking of innovative building techniques

Port Alberni’s firefighters learn to save themselves in ground survival training

Specialized training equipment brought in for Ground Survival Program

Port Alberni RCMP have their eyes on impaired drivers

March 17 to 23 is National Impaired Driving Prevention Week

Premier on hand as Paper Excellence finalizes Catalyst Paper purchase

Sale includes Crofton mill, plus mills in Port Alberni and Powell River

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Dutch police question new suspect in deadly tram shooting

Police are looking for additional suspects in the shooting

Starbucks to test recyclable cups, redesign stores in B.C., U.S. cities

The company also said it plans to redesign its stores as it adapts to increasing mobile pick-up and delivery orders

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Vancouver Island cougar might have been shot with bow-and-arrow

Conservation officer service looking for animal near Port Alice

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Most Read