Dissecting our 2021 fossil fuel subsidies report on British Columbia

June 16, 2021

Last year we released a shocking report revealing that after oil-centric Alberta, British Columbia gives more handouts to fossil fuel companies than any other province. Yesterday we released a 2021 update to that report – and, spoiler alert – things have gotten worse.

This past year the B.C. New Democratic Party gave out a whopping $1.3 billion taxpayer dollars in fossil fuel subsidies.

You read that right. While communities and the economy were reeling from the impacts of the global pandemic – Premier Horgan still managed to give fossil fuel companies more money than ever before.

We can’t let the B.C. government keep getting away with this. So we’re asking you to email a copy of our new subsidies report to key government officials and help stop B.C.’s bankrolling of corporate polluters.

By continuing to ramp up fossil fuel subsidies, the Horgan government is sabotaging its own climate plan. Our report shows that continuing along this path will make it all but impossible to rein in carbon emissions and allow us to reach our climate targets. Rather than decrease over time, these subsidies are currently estimated to surpass $1.8 billion in 2023-24 – more than triple what the B.C. Liberals spent when they were last in power. At the same time, the B.C. NDP plans to reduce investment in energy efficiency and clean energy alternatives. It sure does make you wonder, what planet is Horgan living on?

The largest single source of this increase in fossil fuel subsidies is the Deep Well Royalty Program – a tax loophole for fracking operators – which is projected to cost taxpayers $421 million this year alone. The Horgan government is giving out these tax credits even faster than companies can cash them in. Fracking companies have now accumulated $3.1 billion worth of unused credits which will have to be honoured one day, reducing tax revenues that would otherwise be available to fund public services for future generations.

The good news is, public pressure has already resulted in important progress on this issue. During the election last fall, Stand.earth members helped sound the alarm about fossil fuel subsidies and succeeded in pushing the government to commit to reviewing the Deep Well Royalty Program. If we can keep the pressure on key MLA’s and make sure they’re aware of these latest figures, we could see real movement from the government during this upcoming review of one of B.C.’s biggest handouts to corporate polluters.

Click here to send a quick message to key politicians in the B.C. government, and demand they stop using your tax dollars to subsidize the root causes of climate change.

The facts are simple. We know that to hit our climate targets and ensure a safe, liveable planet for present and future generations, we have to stop paying the fossil fuel industry to continue pollution as usual. Instead, we could use those savings to fund renewable energy, build retrofits that make our homes more energy efficient, and support workers and fossil fuel extraction communities to find new jobs in a more sustainable economy. (Crazy, I know…)

The Stand.earth community represents over half a million people – just imagine what might be possible if even a fraction of this community took the time to flood the B.C. government’s inbox and continue raising this issue with their elected representatives.