Petronas pipeline decision more than market conditions

It’s also politics, protests and red tape causing project cancellation, says northern B.C. writer

Dear Sir:

I was listening to BC NDP minister of energy Michelle Mungall and Skeena Liberal MLA Ellis Ross talk on CBC’s Daybreak North this morning.

The NDP minister simply accepted (Petronas)’s decision (to give up on the PNWLNG project), based on the product’s global market, yet our MLA categorically stated that bad politics, endless protests (sabotage in my opinion, perhaps financed by international competition) and red tape are the reasons for the cancellation of the project.

History – of more than decade – tells us that opposition to the project consisted of NDP members, Greens, some First Nations and perhaps some bored individuals.

I find the NDP minister’s statement – in my opinion – is fake news. The minister (and our media as well) should have done better research on the global oil and gas companies – she might have given us a different statement.

There is a large island a short distance east of the Russian mainland called Sakhalin Island which has huge oil and gas facilities belonging to various large international companies, including Russian giant Gazprom.

According to an article by Abrahm Lustgarten in Fortune from February 1, 2007, Shell announced it was halving its ownership in the $22 billion Sakhalin Energy project, cutting its stake from 55 per cent to 27.5 per cent.

Gazprom was buying Shell’s share plus half the stakes owned by Japanese partners Mitsui and Mitsubishi, for just $7.5 billion. This happened after some strong arm negotiating by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Gazprom then got majority of Sakhalin Energy, 51 per cent, and Shell, Mitsubishi and Mitsui held the other 49 per cent.

Today 82 per cent of their LNG product goes to Japan. That could have been Canada’s market? There is also a plan to construct an underwater pipeline to Japan from the island.

U.S. President Obama, while visiting the Canadian Parliament, applauded Canada’s green policy, yet at the same time he was opposing our oil and gas development and quietly completing LNG in Louisiana and financing the development of the Panama Canal to be able to allow large LNG ships to pass through. Canada continued to protest and is going nowhere.

There are strong indications that oil and gas companies – regardless of the gas price – are expanding and modernizing their facilities. Our MLA was right in saying that the NDP made a bad political decision.

I ask the NDP minister and her Green companion – where will the money come from for all the social programs, including health and education?

The need is huge for B.C.’s growing population.

In closing, the media has failed again by not asking and answering the questions: Who finances the protesters and who finances their legal actions in courts?

When talking to the people on the street, the question also should be: Do you have job and how do you support your family when you spend so much time protesting? (15 years is a long time). Is there international financing being used to sabotage our oil and gas projects?

The hypocrisy of the Greens leader, who in the past hugged the trees, but who has now has discovered that the forest is a renewable resource, has not been challenged. Just look at his arrogant treatment of Alberta’s premier.

I wonder when the Lieutenant Governor made her decision for which party to govern, was she thinking clearly in the best interest of the whole of British Columbia, regardless of party, leadership and personalities?

Leon Dumstrey-Soos,

Kitimat, B.C.

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