The B.C. Conservatives, among many others, have supported the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline provided that stringent environmental standards are met. It seems to me that this is one of the necessary steps needed to revitalize the economy of our provinc. We must not allow the alarmism of environmental extremists and the usual NIMBY crowd to scuttle the project.
Don’t get me wrong. No one wants to see our beautiful province destroyed. But we must have an economy as well as parkland and B.C. desperately needs a shot in the arm in this regard.
Remember, too, that environmental concerns when taken to extremes, have often caused greater harm than good. Efforts to battle the pine beetle infestation were hamstrung by various pressure groups. And what was the result? Large swathes of once harvestable timber lost forever.
And let’s be honest, fossil fuels are here for the foreseeable future. Over 85 per cent of global daily energy use is from fossil fuels, and nearly all of the manufactured products we use are either made from, or with, the energy from fossil fuels. So-called alternate sources (0.9 per cent) have nowhere near the efficiency and require massive subsides or, like hydroelectric, are neither feasible nor desirable in many areas.
B.C. needs the jobs and Canada needs the opportunity to diversify its energy markets. The U.S. is our No. 1 customer right now, but they have it in mind to be self-sufficient by 2035. Where will we be then?
Do we want economic progress, so that our children, and theirs, can enjoy the same standard of living that we have? Or do we say no to every opportunity that comes along and bequeath to them an economic basket case that they must leave in order to earn a living?