David Keane of the BC LNG Alliance addressed the audience at the ICBA Industry Outlook on April 23 about the potential of liquified natural gas for the B.C. economy.
The purpose of the LNG Alliance is to "foster the growth of a safe, environmentally and socially responsible and globally competitive LNG industry in B.C.," Keane said.
Many people don't realize that most of the office buildings in downtown Vancouver are resource companies, he said, and it is up to the LNG Alliance to create greater public awareness.
The alliance is working on both taxation and environmental regulation and sustainability with the provincial government, he said.
Keane also pointed out that B.C. is the only jurisdiction in the world where the industry is paying carbon tax, GST, PST and an LNG tax. About $1 billion will be paid to the government per year in taxes from the LNG industry, he said, and while he said the industry should get taxed, it is also important to recognize how the flow of the gas can affect the price.
On the environmental side, it takes two to three years for new plants to reach "steady state," so the amount of CO2 compared to the amount of LNG produced may not initially be in balanced.
"We don't want to be penalized for ramping up safely," Keane said.
The outlook in Northern B.C., and with First Nations, is optimistic, Keane said, and he stressed that the players coming in to implement LNG "will bring best practices" in an environmental sense, adding that any negative activity affects the bottom line for these companies.
"This is not an industry for the faint of heart. This is an industry for companies with large balance sheets and the wherewithal to build these industries," Keane said.
The seven projects under the Aliiance umbrella represent tens of billions of dollars of investment, along with thousands of jobs, he said. And alliance members are committed to hiring British Columbians first, Canadians second and then looking elsewhere, he added.
"But I want to be clear that we will need temporary foreign workers," he said.
Keane concluded by appealing to the industry to help bring LNG plans in the province to fruition.