B.C.'s plans to create jobs and investment by exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia are threatened by the slow, inefficient regulatory processes and reviews that should be streamlined, according to a new Fraser Institute report.
Laying the Groundwork for BC LNG Exports to Asia discusses the bureaucratic obstacles that the province faces as far as getting the construction of natural gas pipelines, liquefaction facilities and marine terminals underway in a timely manner.
"This whole process is very lucrative for lawyers and consultants but it's expensive for the applicants, and inefficient," Gerry Angevine, senior economist, global resource centre at the Fraser Institute, told Business in Vancouver.
He added that the slow process could lead to B.C. and Canada missing out on a significant share of the market.
"This process could be streamlined by having what I call a generic hearing that would look at issues in common to all the applications that are likely to come along in the next 10 years or so."
Some of those issues, according to Angevine, include:
- whether B.C. has sufficient gas to even consider exporting;
- what the implications would be for the price of gas in B.C. and for B.C. consumers; and
- environmental aspects.
"Get those common issues out of the way, then the hearings that are necessary with regard to each application for each facility can be done in a much more business-like manner," he said.
The report also discusses involving provincial and federal governments, First Nations organizations and industry representatives working together and approving transportation corridors to be used in the development of infrastructure.