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Premier Blaine Higgs speaks before a House of Commons committee on March 28, 2024. Image: House of Commons video capture

Replace carbon tax with LNG exports: Higgs

By Brad Perry Mar 29, 2024 | 10:29 AM

New Brunswick’s premier says exporting liquefied natural gas is a better alternative to the federal carbon tax.

Blaine Higgs made the comments during an appearance before a House of Commons committee on Thursday.

“We have the ability to have major climate change impact beyond our borders, beyond the 1.5 per cent of emissions that currently we’re focused on internally,” said Higgs.

“It is economical to develop our very own resource here in New Brunswick. It’s economical to the point that we have 77 trillion standard cubic feet here in our province.”

Higgs requested the opportunity to speak before the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Finance to share his concerns about the federal carbon tax.

Instead, he and two other Conservative premiers were invited to share their concerns with the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.

“What we’re seeing as an opportunity here in New Brunswick is exactly what’s happening in the west in relation to the development of LNG and the shipment of LNG worldwide and the shutdown of coal plants,” said Higgs.

“The prime minister stated there’s no business case in New Brunswick. That’s absolutely not true. The situation is we have a business case. We don’t have a gas supply currently.”

Spanish company Repsol, which operates an LNG import facility in Saint John, had looked into the option of turning it into an export facility.

However, the company announced last March that it would not go ahead with the project, citing high costs.

The carbon tax increase, slated to take effect Monday, will add more than three cents to a litre of gasoline.