Business Council of British Columbia’s Energy Policy White Paper Calls for Greater Focus on LNG and Natural Gas Resources

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On October 16, 2013, the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) released its white paper on energy policy in BC (White Paper).  The White Paper provides an overview of BC’s energy development history and highlights the implications of three key shifts which drive the requirement for further policy reform:

  1. the shale gas revolution, which has altered continental natural gas pricing and created a new export opportunity to feed Asian demand.
  2. climate change, which requires coordinated approaches to energy development.
  3. electricity marketplace change, which requires a new understanding of how future electricity needs will be met when upgrades of existing assets and new supply are needed. 

Among the 41 recommendations in the White Paper, the BCBC endorsed the following:

  • establishing a non-renewable resource fund by 2016 and dedicating a small portion of it to support energy system transitions.
  • re-engaging Alberta and the federal government in a more collaborative and mutually beneficial manner to move the western market access for oil sands dialogue forward.
  • undertaking a review of BC’s carbon management framework as it relates to current legislated greenhouse gas (“GHG”) reduction targets.  In particular, this includes viewing exported liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) and upstream activities as a relatively clean energy resource on a global basis in cases where LNG displaces coal-fired electricity generation.
  • reconstituting the BC Utilities Commission as a public interest regulatory body with a refreshed mandate to evaluate and report on rate implications of energy supply options as well as the monetary impacts of energy policy choices.
  • reviewing the policy framework for natural gas generation, with a view of fostering strategic use of natural gas in electricity generation.
  • reviewing the Clean Energy Act, Part 5, and removing natural gas demand side management barriers.
  • leveraging downstream energy opportunities to encourage greater use of domestic gas resources.

The BCBC was formed in 1966 as the Commercial and Industrial Research Foundation with a mission to facilitate economic development in BC and encourage improved relations with government and communities.  Its current mission is to provide public-policy research and recommendations to improve BC competitiveness and prosperity.

BCBC Business Council of British Columbia greenhouse gas liquefied natural gas White Paper

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