Merran Smith, director of Clean Energy Canada, released the following statement in response to remarks made this afternoon by the Hon. Bill Bennett, British Columbia’s Minister of Energy, concerning the potential electrification of the province’s proposed liquefied natural gas plants.
It is surprising that the Minister appears to be dismissing outright a proven technical solution that will create 400 additional permanent jobs and less carbon pollution without threatening the LNG sector’s competitiveness. Maximizing use of renewable power for LNG also enjoys tremendous public support.
The Minister is concerned about introducing new conditions into industry negotiations, but the reality is renewables and LNG have been on the table for years.
Two years ago, the government of British Columbia stated its preference for using renewable electricity to power LNG. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in China in 2012, the Premier said, ‘We have set a goal to have the cleanest LNG in the world. We want our LNG plants to be principally fueled by renewables.’
That same year, the Hon. Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development, said that “We’re trying to stay away as much as possible from having to use gas for power… we should… reduce gas generation by using it to firm renewables.’
Electric drives powered by renewables represent a win-win-win —they will create more jobs and less pollution for northern communities, they don’t threaten competitiveness, and they will leave a lasting legacy of infrastructure and permanent employment that will remain long after the LNG boom has passed.
To schedule an interview with Merran Smith, please contact:
James Glave, Communications Director, Clean Energy Canada
The minister made his remarks in response to our new report: Lock in Jobs, Not Pollution: How British Columbia’s Proposed Liquefied Natural Gas Industry Can Create a Lasting Renewable Energy Legacy—and Why It Should.
In a recent (October 2013) poll conducted last October by NRG Research Group, respondents were advised that LNG plants could run on either pure natural gas, or a combination of natural gas and renewable energy. After learning this, 91 percent stated that it was either “very important” or “somewhat important” that the proposed plants maximize their use of renewable energy.
Further, 89 percent of those surveyed said it was either “very important” or “somewhat important” that the proposed LNG industry minimize its greenhouse gas emissions, even if doing so means less LNG will be developed.
(NRG Research Group surveyed 600 British Columbians by telephone between October 4 and 6. The results have a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percent, 19 times out of 20.)