Editorial: The future isn’t in LNG

Selling off our resources is no plan for the future

Andrew Weaver managed to do something last week that just doesn’t happen often. He got the Liberals and the NDP to vote together. Happily.

In this case, that meant an 83-3 loss for the B.C. Green Party leader’s attempt to slow B.C.’s headlong plunge into the LNG export business.

In this case, though, Weaver was right. We are selling off the future of generations to come, though not because we are letting our resources go at too low a price, or setting up to export LNG when the world supply is high and prices are low.

Those are good reasons, as is the fact that by these kinds of deals, B.C. remains just a “hewer of wood and drawer of water,” as we sell our resources to boost other countries’ economies.

Natural gas may be a cleaner burning fuel than oil, but even if it were wise to keep burning fossil fuels, neither is going to last forever.

Better that B.C., and Canada, start investing in building an economy for the centuries to come. Quick returns from fossil fuel and other resources may be attractive to bolster the immediate economy, and government, but as Alberta found out, the market can drop out from under you all too quickly.

A wiser plan for the future would be to invest in alternative sources of power. Yes, what the hippies and eco-freaks have been going on about for years. The difference is that wind and solar power are growing much more reliable and there is a growing demand for them.

For a concrete example, look to the large-scale solar farm that is just in its earliest stages in the town of Summerland. A lot will be learned from that project as it is built in the coming years, knowledge that will be invaluable to future projects.

Right here in the Comox Valley, K’ómoks First Nation and I-Hos Gallery are to be applauded for installing solar panels, which will generate 75 per cent of the power the building uses.

This is where B.C. should be looking to the future, at least as far as energy is concerned. Develop the technology, the equipment, the manufacturing sector to produce the equipment that others will need to power their communities.

When our LNG is sold and gone, it’s over. But by investing in developing the technology needed for the future, we can tailor growth to continue to meet market demand.

That goes for all sectors of our economy, where we are selling resources rather than a product, like shipping raw logs out of the province.

–Black Press

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