Do the Liberals want LNG?

If the province wants to establish B.C. as a competitive location for LNG exporters to setup, they have a strange way of showing it.

If the provincial government truly wants to establish B.C. as a competitive location for liquefied natural gas exporters to setup shop, they sure have a strange way of showing it.

Last week the government announced a framework for LNG companies wanting to make use of the BC Hydro grid. You would think that the industry would be treated the same as any other, but obviously the government sees LNG not as an industry but as a cash-cow that it can rake over the coals and bleed dry. The result is an agreement that will see LNG companies paying almost $30 more per megaWatt hour than  other industrial customers.

It simply does not make any sense for the government to charge LNG more than any other industry at the same time as they are trying to promote the greenest LNG industry in the world. Frankly, it’s just stupid.

The hydro is created from the same place as all other industrial customers, it travels along the same power lines as all other industrial customers and it is fed through the same transformers along the route as all other industrial transformers. Why should the LNG industry have to pay more?

It would be like fast food restaurants charging more for burgers sold to people from the east side of town than to people from the west side — the beef is from the same place, the buns are from the same place, it’s made in the same place and it is the same product.

In short, it’s discriminatory.

When coupled with the new LNG tax — a tax the industry will have to pay on top of what others pay simply for being the LNG industry — it becomes fairly obvious the government wants to get all the money they possibly can out of the multi-billion dollar international energy firms for services that already exist in B.C.

If I were at the head of one of those firms, I would be telling Christy Clark “thanks, but no thanks”. B.C. is not the only game in town.