Rich Coleman: Resource development will help fuel prosperous new year in B.C.

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      The past year was a challenging one globally. Here in B.C., our government is working hard to ensure we all benefit from a strong economy.

      Our review of B.C. Hydro resulted in reduced electricity rates—a 50 percent reduction over the next three years. B.C. Hydro is committed to keeping electricity rates affordable for B.C. families and businesses, while continuing to invest in renewing our infrastructure, which is the backbone of our economy.

      This investment includes the installation of almost 525,000 smart meters. This number will grow to 1.8 million across B.C. by December 2012.

      Smart meters are important for our future. They will help us run the power grid more efficiently and profit from electricity sales that help fund essential services like education and health care. We expect to save $70 million over the next three years, and a total of $1.6 billion in avoided costs and increased efficiencies over the next 20 years, which will allow us to keep our power rates among the lowest in North America.

      2011 also set the stage for the 10th instalment of the Infrastructure Royalty Credit Program. Today, this program supports development of 30 new infrastructure projects in northeast B.C.—creating jobs for B.C. families who work on important projects, such as new and upgraded roads and pipelines.

      We also took steps to set the stage for greater social responsibility when it comes to resource development. Starting January 2012, a new online registry—accessible to everyone—will allow visitors to search for the location of where shale gas development is taking place. This will enable people everywhere to find out more about our development practices and the additives used during these activities.

      This initiative supports our commitment to open and transparent government. It also builds upon our pledge to British Columbians that their water is protected with strict regulations and containment procedures in place. B.C. has never reported an incident of water contamination resulting from hydraulic fracturing, and we are taking the steps required to prevent that from happening.

      That's important, because British Columbia is on the cusp of a renaissance in resource development that will result in tens of thousands of jobs in our resource communities.

      A good indicator of this growth is the 2011 sale of petroleum and gas rights. This year we had $222.6 million in sales.

      As well, we have begun to seize a historic opportunity in British Columbia. Global trade in liquefied natural gas (LNG) is expected to grow by another 50 percent by 2020. So we are working hard to build a whole new industry.

      Developing our LNG export potential will generate thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in new investment. That will mean even more revenues for government to pay for important services for British Columbians, create well-paying jobs, help to diversify our economy and create new opportunities to build expertise in a brand new global industry.

      B.C. is ideally positioned to compete for a share of the LNG market. We've been preparing for this opportunity for nearly a decade with progressive royalty programs, infrastructure upgrades, comprehensive environmental assessments, and direct engagement with industry, First Nations and communities.

      When Premier Christy Clark announced the B.C. Jobs Plan, the province committed to have the Kitimat LNG plant up and running by 2015, with a total of three LNG facilities operating by 2020. We also committed to building our mining industry with eight expansions and seven new mines by 2015. In doing so, the province set a bold new path forward.

      In fact, the work is well underway on the mining side, with the opening of Copper Mountain near Penticton—the first new copper mine since 1998.

      In the coming year, you can look forward to many more positive developments in mining, natural gas development, and in the area of clean energy. I am optimistic 2011 helped us to turn an important corner and I am confident the future ahead brings with it tremendous opportunities throughout our great province.

      Rich Coleman is B.C.'s minister of energy and mines.

      Comments

      9 Comments

      seth

      Dec 22, 2011 at 11:01am

      ".. Smart meters are important for our future........., and a total of $1.6 billion in avoided costs and increased efficiencies over the next 20 yea "

      As Coleman ex cop. ex realtor, and now expert power engineer knows the real costs/efficiency number is about $1B at best most from putting meter readers out of work.. That puts a negative rate of return on the $1B smart meter investment.

      There are no "positive" developments in clean energy with Coleman trying to cover up some of the $45B to date and $20B soon to come of commitments to purchase a miniscule amount of filthy ghg spewing run of the river power at ten times the average Columbia grid price from stockbroker pals in the Pirate Power business. That "investment" has doubled BC overall debt and will result in a doubling of BCHydro's rates.
      seth

      LostMyGlasses

      Dec 22, 2011 at 12:01pm

      Oh, the future is catching up with the Liberals fast, what with all the BC Hydro deferrals, and all this future vague 'resource development' that hinges on increasingly volatile commodity markets and environmental destruction on a massive scale.

      Finlay MacPherson

      Dec 22, 2011 at 3:24pm

      At one time British Columbia had a democratic government but not any more. The BC Liberals continue to waste taxpayer's money with no end in sight, other than the next provincial election. The Smart Meter program is the latest hoax being perpetrated to suck more money from our wallets while telling us how good it will be for all of us in the future. Look into the reality -- a rather dangerous surveillance system emitting bursts of pulsed electromagnetic radiation through our bodies every few seconds day and night whether we want it or not. Not much real concern for the safety of families and loved ones, just concern that the companies pushing the new technology make a profit for their shareholders and owners. It is time to stop the insanity and stand up for your right not to be dictated to by those in power trying to pull another fast one on the taxpaying public. George Orwell tried to warn us, but Big Brother is still working behind the scenes pushing the illusion of a better future. Wake up and fight the monster called Smart Meters and Smart Grid before it is too late!!

      Diagnsoed with EHS

      Dec 23, 2011 at 9:00am

      I have never had a high opinion of Rich Coleman but his refusal to accept that people will be harmed by the microwaves from smart meters is a new low for him.
      The misinformation from BCHydro and Coleman on smart meters is staggering. By any logical analysis of the facts it is doubtful the program will provide the benefits claimed by Coleman/BCHydro. What is clear is the cost will be significant, the privacy of the individual will be violated, the security of the grid is liable to be compromised and there will be significant health issues for some.
      Coleman is an arrogant clod when he refuses to accept that people with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity will be seriously affected. Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity is recognised as a disability by the Canadian Human Rights and according to them must be accommodated Tribunal. Coleman/BCHydro are violating the human rights of 1/3 of more of BC residents when they refuse to accommodate or even acknowledge the rights of people suffering from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity.
      What will Coleman do when he or someone close to him begins to experience debilitating headaches or one of the other serious symptoms of EHS?

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      There is prosperity

      Dec 23, 2011 at 1:19pm

      For Rich Coal Men and the CEO of BC Hydro but British Colombians who have seen their real estate climb 41% since the Liberals landed, not so much.
      Lets see the rich are getting richer and Rich will have to agree, also himself while British Colombians are getting poorer and deeper in debt. The province is going to let in pipelines to China and enough coal mines to help destroy the prosperous environment which cost homeowners that extra 41%.
      So if Health Care Payments are going to be based on GNP which is projected at 1.9 and inflation at 3.9 what could the province expect from the Feds in payments? Or is the province going to have to send money back you know like the HST once the new health deal is set up?

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      pragprog

      Dec 23, 2011 at 2:18pm

      Perhaps this dinosaur will eventually contribute to the "shale gas" he's fracking. Wow, Coleman..."social responsibility" covered by freely telling us where the contamination is taking place!

      There is prosperity

      Dec 23, 2011 at 3:14pm

      The numbers are offically out and BC is worst off financially than it was 2000.
      Contamination of a major western Canadian river basin from oilsands operations is a "high-profile concern" for downstream communities and wildlife, says a newly-released "secret" presentation prepared last spring by Environment Canada that highlighted numerous warnings about the industry's growing footprint on land, air, water and the climate.

      The warnings from the department contrast with recent claims made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Environment Minister Peter Kent that the industry is being unfairly targeted by environmentalists who exaggerate its impacts on nature and people.

      Read more: http://www.canada.com/technology/Secret+Environment+Canada+presentation+...

      Bull Shit Political Propoganda

      Dec 23, 2011 at 4:56pm

      We know that Billions in Deficits have been accrued by the Lie-berals...

      (1) Billions for the Owe-lympics,

      (2) Billion Dollar Condos,

      (3) BC Rail Fiasco (how much?) 999 Year Lease which is a Sale

      (4) HST Billion+ Debacle

      (5) BC Ferries Debacle Millions in Exec Comp + Ferry Deficits + Cuts in Services

      (6) $565 for a Leaky Tarp Roof :)

      (7) BC Hydro - Billions in Deficits off Current Accounts Balance Sheet, ENRON had something similar I believe,

      (8) Billion + in "Smart" Meters for no reason other than to jack up rates later,

      (9) BC Hydro PPP Guaranteed ABOVE Market Price Corporate Welfare Contracts to "Friends"

      (10) BC Hydro Mega Projects planned to SUBSIDIZE Mining & Oil & Gas Corporations Power Consumption aka Corporate Welfare

      Who pays for all this why we the BC Sheep-O-Lumbians.

      Now no-one can award 100% of the blame to these Neo-Conservtive hack Politicians & Party since...

      We BC Voters that is repeatedly voted in an admitted Guilty Drunk Driver into Office three times!

      BC Voters share 50% of the blame on this as well.

      No I never Voted Lie-beral or NDP.

      Instead of voting for Parties + Personalities we need to Vote + DEMAND Accountability from Politicians ALL the Time.

      Some Solutions Not Just Complaints...

      (1) INCREASE Resource Royalties / Fees like Australia, Norway (Second Wealthiest Country on Earth due to HIGH Resource Royalty Rates), UK (North Sea Oil) and New FoundLand have ALL already done!!!

      Corporations + Demand for Resources like Oil & Gas makes them essential Commodities especially by Asia have therefore virtually any high Royalty rate can be both justified + sustained.

      A minimum of 25%+++ should be demanded or be like Norway have the State run Oil + Gas and Keep virtually ALL of the Profits!!!

      This will pay off Deficits + Pay for Education + Health-Care.

      (2) STOP ALL Corporate Welfare like rebates for Casino Corporations to maintain + Build Casinos instead let em pay for it, don't subsidize Power Consumption of Industrial Users by getting the BC Voter to pay for Hydro Mega Projects etc,

      (3) Bring in the PST it will ensure Corporations PAY their fair share instead of shifting Taxation from Big Business to the BC Voter.

      (4) NEVER EVER Vote in ANY Conservative aka Big Business Shill Party/Politicians into Office EVER Again and Certainly not a Drunk Driver.

      christ

      Dec 26, 2011 at 1:50am

      coleman is a gordon campbell party hack that should've been flushed from office when he disgracefully left for the UK. why isn't Clark cleaning house of all these hacks. Let's exploit resources nobody has thought of this before in BC.. I'm a VISIONARY