|Doug Bloom, President of Spectra Energy Transmission West, and John Walker, President and CEO of FortisBC, speak at The Vancouver Board of Trade's Nov. 28 event "Natural Gas: Benefits for B.C." Photo Gallery. Photos by Greg Hoekstra. |
The natural gas industry is a critical component of B.C.’s economy and a key revenue source for B.C.’s provincial treasury. Recent innovation and new technologies have unlocked the potential for natural gas exploration and production in northeast British Columbia, which will help to grow and diversify the province’s economy.
In a recent address to members of The Vancouver Board of Trade, Doug Bloom, President of Spectra Energy Transmission West, and John Walker, President and CEO of FortisBC, said the natural gas sector is creating jobs, innovations and new energy solutions. And that’s just the beginning.
Bloom noted that B.C. has more than 100 years of supply at current production rates and, according to the National Energy Board, the province’s production has the potential to exceed Alberta’s before this decade is out.
However, the United States is Canada’s only current export market for natural gas, meaning that new markets must be developed domestically and abroad if the industry is to reach its full potential, Bloom said.
“Exporting natural gas to the world’s fast-growing economies will grow B.C. and Canadian jobs dramatically, and infuse federal, provincial and municipal treasuries with much-needed new tax revenues to support public programs important to all of us,” he said.
“The bottom line is that there is economic and environmental opportunity literally under our feet in B.C. and we would be foolish and short-sighted not to safely and responsibly develop them for the welfare of the province.”
The natural gas sector also has the potential to transform other industries and that will benefit all British Columbians in the long run.
Walker noted that key innovations are happening in the transportation industry in the field of natural gas-powered vehicles.
“With a low-cost and abundant fuel supply, natural gas can reduce costs for operators, lower emissions from the province’s largest GHG source and provide benefits to consumers,” he said.
He noted that both Surrey and Abbotsford contract out waste haulage to firms employing natural gas-powered fleets, which have lower operating costs.
“In both cities, we will see a direct local benefit to local taxpayers, by helping municipalities manage their costs.”
Another innovative solution that FortisBC is pursuing uses natural gas and thermal energy technology to heat schools, which provides cost savings for school districts across B.C.
To increase energy literacy about the natural gas industry in B.C., Spectra Energy and FortisBC are partnering to launch the new natural gas education program, which will visit community and business organizations around province starting in the New Year.
To schedule a presentation in your community, please call Sarah McCullough at 604-488-8095 or David Bennett at 604-592-7850.
For a full photo gallery from The Vancouver Board of Trade’s event “Natural Gas: Benefits for B.C.” visit facebook.com/vancouverboardoftrade.