It would rebuild much of the economy of British Columbia and change everything from our relationship with Asia to our BC Hydro capacity.
Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman came to the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce Tuesday and laid out the case for getting British Columbia into liquified natural gas in a big way.
Coleman talked about the increase in gas exploration over the past few years.
"Something unbelieveable happened," he said. "We found more gas than we thought we could possibly find." He was talking about the Liard Basin find in northeastern B.C.
Running the gas to the United States by pipeline would not be economical, due to the cost of getting it to market, Coleman said.
But sending the gas to Asia will provide more money and access to economies that need power and want to stop burning coal.
"We went after that market," Coleman said.
He wants to see liquid natural gas (LNG) ports in Kitimat and Prince Rupert, a huge new infrastructure to drill and ship the gas. It could mean $490 billion in direct impact and $600 billion in indirect impacts to the B.C. economy, said Coleman.
"It means no debt," he said. "It means you can pay for health care for your aging population."
It would also mean increasing the power producing capacity of B.C. by 25 per cent, through new dams and upgrades to existing BC Hydro facilities.
It means new transmission capability to the Northeast, and a huge need for new workers: "We will need a whole new generation of workers," he said.
Coleman promised it would have benefits for companies throughout the province.
"There are companies in Langley providing things today to the natural gas industry," said Coleman.
From pipes to building entire portable mining camps, he said, local producers will benefit from the gas boom.
Along with more mines that are coming on line now, Coleman said, it will set B.C.'s future for generations.
"This is our time for some unbelieveable stuff," he said.