“And now class, let’s all just cover our ears & pretend that BC doesn’t ship mile long trains full of US thermal coal overseas!”
You know you’re a northern gal when gumboots are a seasonal staple, but even Premier Clark wasn’t wearing them today – although she should have been – if only to help her wade out of the mire that was created when she spoke:
Liquefied natural gas can help cut China’s coal consumption and turn the tide against climate change, which is contributing to an early wildfire season in Northeast B.C., Premier Christy Clark said Wednesday in Fort St. John.
The premier was in the Peace Region for a pro-LNG rally, planned weeks before a rash of wildfires forced people from their homes across northern B.C.
Asked about the early start to the fire season, Clark made a pivot to her government’s plan to export LNG to Asia.
“This early start to the fire season is alarming for everyone in the province,” Clark told reporters after a speech to LNG supporters from the back of an oilfield crane truck. “I know it’s been an immediate, urgent issue for people in the northeast, but if it’s starting this early here, it’s going to start early everywhere in the province.”
“If there’s any argument for exporting LNG and helping fight climate change, surely it is all around us when we see these fires burning out of control.”
“This is the reality we’re facing today as the planet gets warmer,” she continued, saying climate change leads to dry conditions that exacerbate wildfires. “If there’s any argument for exporting LNG and helping fight climate change, surely it is all around us when we see these fires burning out of control.”
Clark tailored her comments to the current wildfires, but the argument is far from new. The BC Liberal government has long argued that LNG is less carbon-intensive than oil and coal, making it a net-positive for emissions reduction.
Clark alluded to the Chinese government’s 2015 approval of 155 coal-fired power plants meant to meet growing demand. While those plants are still on the books, their future remains uncertain amid an economic slowdown and a shift towards renewables.
“The only way China is not going to build those filthy, belching coal plants is if they have a different fuel to power the country. That has to be LNG,” Clark said in a followup interview. “If everyone who is using coal and oil switched to natural gas today, we would be a third less polluting. In one leap.”
“If we want to be able to slow down the rate of climate change and have fewer fires or at least get stable on that front, we’re going to have to step up our efforts to fight climate change.”
Sigh. Some days, I would rather muck out the dirty stalls of a horse ranch and not wade through this kind of muck instead.
Let’s talk about that dirty nasty coal BC LNG is going to save the world from. And why Premier Clark, so clearly motivated to save the world from those “filthy belching coal plants”, isn’t stepping into immediately intervene and help those trying to stop more thermal coal exports overseas out of Surrey Fraser Docks? http://www.news1130.com/2016/04/19/coal-environmental-fraser-surrey-docks-court/
Yes, you read that right. Surrey Fraser Docks and Port of Vancouver are trying to get the courts to drop the challenge against this facility that would see coal ships loaded with thermal coal brought up by train from the US, to ships in the Fraser River. Frankly after reading Clark’s comments above, I’m shocked she isn’t down there protesting herself to stop it! Oh but wait…she’s too busy making sure the Massey Bridge gets built,a project specifically designed to allow large ships to travel up and down the Fraser to ship that dirty coal overseas….
But wait, I haven’t even begun to talk about the mile long trains of thermal coal moved through White Rock,Surrey and Delta daily that US ports won’t ship and has been shipping out of Deltaport for years!
You see, it’s hard to take someone seriously when they spout words designed to make people who might not know the above facts feel good about something,when it simply is not true.
Now a quick word about forest fires in BC, something that has long plagued the province and something that the province has not put enough effort into mitigating in past years. In fact I wrote this popular piece last year, asking at what point does inaction become negligence. https://lailayuile.com/2015/07/06/at-what-point-does-inaction-become-negligence/
In it, I review how many of the recommendations of the Filmon Firestorm 2003 report were not acted on by the province and the lack of funding put forth despite the dire warnings within it.
Who is in charge of legislating forest policy, forest management, removing fuel loads that feed fires? The province of BC is.
In April of 2014, a full decade after the Filmon report was commissioned, Glen Sanders- a former firefighter and fire chief, took a look at the lessons learned- or not- by government and found the results lacking. http://www.abcfp.ca/publications_forms/documents/BCFORPRO-2014-2_Sanders.pdf
“I am dubious about the lessons learned by government, however, and many of the missteps identified in the Filmon Report will be repeated when the next firestorm strikes.
A wise person once said, “The worst mistake a person can make is to think that those in charge actually know what they are doing.”
And if fire and forestry experts are concerned, I’m also concerned the government did not learn an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Did the government ensure every single one of the recommendations they were responsible for completing in Filmons report were undertaken? I don’t have that answer yet.
I hope we don’t have to wait for yet another firestorm report, to find out.
Recently I tweeted this old post out again and asked where the province was on all of these efforts. And thanks to this year being a critical one before an election ,the province has indeed stepped up with more money,although I wonder if it will be too little too late : http://www.news1130.com/2016/04/19/government-wildfires-erupt-in-bc/
It’s really just so sad they didn’t act earlier.
Interesting, no? Kind of like the gang funding the province just announced,only years after taking away funding. Or the money laundering unit just announced, that was disbanded once already by Rich Coleman.…
But don’t worry friends… LNG is going to save the world. Get on board. Stop those nasty, filthy coal plants. Just cover your eyes when you drive along any of the highways in South Surrey and Delta so you don’t see all that dirty coal waiting to be shipped overseas.
And for goodness sake, don’t remember any of this when you vote next year…