Natural gas frenzy

Projects amount to billions, but who is watching out for northwestern B.C.?

ANOTHER week, another liquefied natural gas (LNG) announcement. This time it’s Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex) buying a 10 per cent stake into a planned LNG plant near Prince Rupert which itself is a project of Petronas, Malaysia’s state-owned energy company.

We’re going to soon run out of fingers on which to count the number of proposed LNG plants, pipelines and countries involved.

And that raises the key question for the northwest – who has got our back in all of this?

The provincial Liberals with their superfund plan to use anticipated tax revenues are counting their LNG projects before they’re hatched.

The provincial NDP have yet to reveal their hand. Their clever move so far is to raise the matter of power. Each of these projects would require tremendous amounts of electricity and where that will come from and in what form is a valid issue.

The provincial government has the Oil and Gas Commission which regulates how the products are pumped out of the ground. With as many as four pipelines planned, the possibility of an expanded current pipeline and five proposed LNG plants, whoever forms the government after the May election would be wise to consider something similar for pipelines and LNG plants.

No one likes more bureaucracy but we do need a starting point. Information is power and right now the northwest lacks both.