Hypocrisy in B.C. ?
Hypocrisy: the practice of claiming to have moral standards to which one’s own behavior does not conform
The Hypocrites from the Sixth Pit of Hell
– Dante’s Inferno,
Every once in a while I listen to CFRA talk radio. I usually last only 5 minutes and their ranting are so often so irrational, biased and filled with false/slanted facts that I just can’t take it. But I persevere to make sure I can understand people who think differently than I do. However, the day after the victory of the United Conservatives in the Alberta election, there was a caller from Renfrew who had retired there after working in Fort McMurray who made the point presented here: how dare the government and citizens of BC be so high and mighty about not wanting ‘dirty oil’ crossing their beloved province? When:
- They currently use the Alberta oil from the existing pipeline to fuel their cars and trucks
- They are developing their own gas resources in northern BC and building a pipeline to the ocean for it
- Their coal mining exports are the largest of any single North American state or province
In other words – hypocritical BAST – – DS!
Once I got home I needed to confirm the details of his claims, although I knew they were more or less true.
So here are the exact facts [at least as much as I could find]:
- Most of the gasoline consumed in B.C. comes from Alberta, delivered primarily via the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Gasoline is also produced in B.C.’s two refineries. Less than 10% the gasoline consumed in B.C. is imported via ship or barge from the U.S. Pacific Northwest. 
So, yes, the caller was right.
- The graph below makes it clear that BC is developing its large natural gas reserves.
In 2017, natural gas production in B.C. averaged 4.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) (Figure 1). B.C.’s production represented about 29% of total Canadian natural gas production in 2017. 
Additionally, the caller claimed that BC is also approving natural gas terminals and pipelines. This is confirmed here:
NGTL’s Towerbirch Expansion was completed in December 2017 and now provides producers in the Tower Lake area with access to the NGTL system. NGTL’s application for the North Montney Project was approved by the NEB in May 2018. The expansion will transport natural gas from the North Montney area to the existing NGTL system. AltaGas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal announced a final investment decision in January 2017. The facility will be constructed near Price Rupert and will transport a maximum of 46 Mb/d of propane to Asia-Pacific markets when completed in 2019. This facility will be Canada’s first propane export terminal. 
So, yes, the caller was right.
- Coal mining is a major industry in British Columbia. Coal production employs thousands of people and coal sales generate billions of dollars in annual revenue. Coal production currently represents over half of the total mineral production revenues in the province.  “Coal production is a mainstay of the province’s economy, generating billions of dollars in annual revenue and supporting thousands of well-paid jobs,” reads the website for B.C.’s Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.  This head line from the National Post  says it all:
Yes, anti-pipeline Vancouver really is North America’s largest exporter of coal
So, in spite of the fact that per capita GHG emissions in BC are 37% below the national average [only because of the happy accident of having massive hydro projects] BC’s behaviours towards Alberta is very much a case of the kettle calling the pot black. So, yes, sadly, the caller was right and BC is a hypocrite.
What to do? How about acting like grown-ups and stop lobbing grenades into our neighbour’s back yard and go back to our old fashioned Canadian ways of talking things over a nice cold bottle of beer and having a BBQ together. Eventually, once we see that we are all on the same side and none of us is lily–white, we’ll figure a way out of our fossil fuel dependent economy and move forward, TOGETHER, to better things. Ie. a renewable energy based economy.
So, rather than provinces squabbling how about we be the good Canadians the world thinks we are and emulate our national animal, the Beaver, and build some dams!