For several years I have been watching television ads about Fortis bringing affordable, environmentally superior, natural gas to British Columbia’s citizens, so they can replace their old heating systems, oil or wood, with clean technology.
Now we have the gas industry pushing for development of the infrastructure to export B.C.’s energy and our glorious leader advertising how we have at least 50 years worth of exportable reserves.
Well, then what? Fifty years is a blip in time, not even a single lifetime, in human terms. We need political leadership that looks after the long-range welfare of B.C. or Canada’s citizens.
What really bugs me is the reply I got from Fortis when I inquired about their plans to expand their service to Island communities (and I take it, other mainland communities).
Basically, they have none, no plans to provide the smaller communities in the province with our gas. They will only expand service to cover growth within the few communities that already have service — no future plans at all.
So where does that leave us? There are public complaints about particulate pollution from wood heat, greenhouse gas emissions from oil heat, and BC Hydro (despite going ahead with the construction of the Site C dam on the Peace River) is still spending huge amounts on its conservation programs.
What we need is a rural gasification subsidy program similar to what the W.A.C. Bennett government and Gordon Shrum created when they took over B.C. Electric and Kootenay Power and set up a subsidized program that got rural British Columbians connected to the hydro grid. Without that program, half of B.C. residents would still be using candles and coal-oil lamps for lighting and coal or wood for heating. Lets bang the gong for B.C. gas for British Columbians.