Gas lobbyists talked to province more than 750 times since election
VANCOUVER / UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh AND səlilwətaɬ TERRITORIES — Fracking companies, LNG groups and their industry associations, have been swarming provincial officials since Premier John Horgan’s NDP government received its majority mandate. In total, the gas industry lobbied the government 768 times as it prepared its royalty review. A month-long public consultation period on gas royalties ends this week.
“How can we trust the province to deliver a royalty regime that puts the public interest first when it’s clear fracking companies have had a head start?” said Climate Campaigner Peter McCartney. “I’m glad to see Premier Horgan effectively admit the gas industry has been taking us for a ride, but when they’ve been lobbying his government two or three times a day, I don’t have much faith he’s going to change that.”
For years, environmentalists have criticized B.C.’s generous royalty regime, under which 14 of 15 of the top fracking companies in the province receive more in drilling credits than they pay in taxes and royalties. Now that the province has agreed to a review and appears ready to scrap the system entirely, the question becomes what it will replace it with.
“B.C. needs a modern royalty system that actually responds to the climate crisis and begins the process of winding down gas production,” said McCartney. “When you’re lobbying the government several times a day, you can feel pretty comfortable that they’re not going to do anything to impact your business model — but that’s exactly what needs to happen.”
To help people understand the influence fossil fuel companies have on the BC NDP government, the Wilderness Committee has launched a Twitter bot account that lets the public know every time a new lobbying activity is registered. Follow @BCGasLobbyBot to see which gas companies and industry associations are talking with government officials and elected representatives — and when.
“I think people will be shocked to know how often their MLAs and public servants are sitting down with fossil fuel lobbyists as they develop B.C.’s plans to tackle the climate crisis,” said McCartney. “We’re never going to succeed with the province’s worst polluters in the room.”
For more information, please contact:
Peter McCartney | Climate Campaigner