I strongly agree with the common-sense position the provincial government is taking on the Northern Gateway Pipeline project. Job creation and economic development are vital to our province’s future, but, as it stands, B.C. bears almost all of the environmental risk from the pipeline project while receiving few of the monetary and other benefits.
Over a 30-year period, the Northern Gateway Pipeline is expected to generate $270 billion in revenue. However, of the $81 billion in tax revenue the project would generate, BC would only receive a minor $6.7 billion share or about $223 million per year. A single major oil spill on land or sea could easily cost the province that much or more in environmental cleanup, legal and other compensation costs which would leave us with no financial benefit at all.
The people of this province should not have to bear the considerable risks associated with oil pipelines without commensurate financial benefits and ironclad safeguards for our environment. The province has now set clear terms and conditions for these projects, terms and conditions that are as warranted as they are reasonable and fair.