Fraser Institute News Release: Regulatory Delays in B.C.’s LNG Industry Could Cost the Economy More Than $20 Billion a Year in Lost Export Revenues
CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Sept. 22, 2015) – Unless BC’s regulatory process for the liquefied natural gas industry is streamlined, the province risks losing out on billions of dollars in export revenues, concludes a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.
The study, LNG Exports from British Columbia: The Cost of Regulatory Delay , finds that the loss of international market share due to regulatory delays (for approval from the federal government, provincial authorities as well as First Nations) could cost the B.C. economy over $20 billion a year — equivalent to 9.5 per cent of the province’s GDP in 2014.
“Regulatory delays mean that no Canadian LNG project will start production by 2020. The longer Canadian LNG projects take to move forward, the more likely it is that Canadian producers will be displaced by producers in other nations,” said Ken Green, Senior Director of Natural Resource Studies at the Fraser Institute and study co-author.
“As a result, British Columbians will invariably forgo higher levels of job growth and billions of dollars in tax revenues which could to pay for things like health care or public education.”
B.C.’s natural gas resources are substantial: In 2013, the National Energy Board (NEB) pegged the province’s ultimate potential for marketable natural gas reserves at 10.6 trillion cubic meters.
Given those quantities — and based on worldwide natural gas consumption projections — B.C. would be well placed to produce and deliver 42 to 74 per cent of LNG demand in the Asia Pacific by 2020.
In fact, if B.C. projects already approved by the NEB were green-lighted, British Columbia would be the largest LNG exporter in the world — in the medium term — ahead of countries such as Australia, Qatar and the United States.
Instead, the regulatory delays mean that British Columbia is destined to be a laggard resulting in lost market share.
“It’s certainly the role of the government to impose appropriate environmental, safety, and financial controls to protect community interests but it’s in government’s best interest to impose these regulations in an expedited manner,” Green said.
The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit www.fraserinstitute.org.
Dr. Kenneth P. Green
Senior Director, Natural Resource Studies
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Tel: (416) 363-6575 Ext. 238