Last week, Malaysian energy giant Petronas announced an end to its controversial LNG mega-project in B.C. due to changes in global energy markets.
While proponents of the project claim this is a “tragedy for Canada,” there’s a more positive way of looking at things. After several years with B.C.’s economic policies held hostage to the myopic idea of an imminent LNG boom, letting go of the increasingly unfeasible LNG pipe dream presents a valuable opportunity to reimagine economic development in rural B.C.
While it can be risky to bet on where a market or sector is going, it’s proving even riskier to invest in the resources, industries and technologies of the past. The writing had been on the wall for a number of years regarding the risks of the sector. With the departure of American investment firm Apache Corp from B.C. LNG in 2014, a course correction could (or should) have been considered years ago. Petronas is the final punctuation mark in that discussion. This at a time when global growth in sustainable energy technologies is growing rapidly, inviting a ‘just transition’ to workers in the resource sector.