Gas Vision: Foolish But Fearless

Premier Christy Clark’s a vision of a $100-billion fund built from natural gas revenues looks ridiculous … until you think about it.

Everybody is pouring water on the Liberal government’s Prosperity Fund plan to stash $100 billion into a fund from the $130-$260 billion in revenue expected from Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) projects.

Not the stashing part. The part that expects all that loot will flow from a monster LNG sector in the province.

There were many reactions:

A — ahem — pipe dream, many called it.

A pure election ploy by a government desperate for some good news, many said.

A fuzzy vision driven by a lack of other ideas, even more said.

It’s easy to see why the plan wasn’t received all that well. It is vague, very hopeful, and in some ways, ridiculously futuristic.  

But maybe that also adds some cachet to the LNG Plan.

It may be vague, but it’s also visionary. And we could sure use a visionary plan in this constantly nitpicking province.

It may also be too hopeful, but that kind of hope would be very helpful in a province where old-economy older people have all the money, and young educated people have little hope, so flee to Alberta where the economy is booming.

Lastly, it is futuristic, but future predictions are always laughable — until they happen. You could do a lot worse envisioning an economy built on natural gas. Like, for instance … oh… oil.

It’s relatively clean, we have lots of it, and people offshore will pay for it. What’s not to like?   

Sure, it’s an election sweetener. Sure, it’s out of nowhere. Sure, it will change over time.

But you have to give whoever dreamed up this fearless and, maybe, foolish plan points for chutzpah.