In an increasingly gloomy news day, I stop to post this news that is good news for British Columbia mining.
The Premier of British Columbia on Friday announced that the BC government will begin the environmental assessment and First Nations Consultation phase for the proposed Northern Transmission Line. The line involves electrification of the Highway 37 corridor that goes up to the north of BC. The BC mining association says that ten proposed mining projects could benefit from the installation of the line. And that could create 10,700 jobs and result in $300 million in annual tax returns.
While it is a long way from starting an environmental assessment to a live wire act, this at least gets the process going. There are prospective mines that cannot go ahead unless power arrives along that corridor. Whether this announcement will affect the share price of these properties in the current stock market free fall is open to question.
But this announcement does gives us cause to reflect that sometimes government action is necessary to enable the free market to act efficiently. I am on record as being against politicians of all stripes. But I recognize that government is necessary to do for the people what we cannot individually do for ourselves. Obvious examples include defend the country, police the criminals, move mountains, and kick-start a seized-up economy.
It is early to speculate, but it looks as though Americans have decided to let the felons suffer and not bail out golden parachute artists. If that is so, then somehow government will have to persuade the people with money to loosen their purses and spend. Maybe more powerlines is as good a start as any, both in BC and in the United States. Afterall you cannot have energy independence if you have insufficient resources to move what energy you do have around from producer to consumer.
Thus we applaud the BC government’s move and recommend it as an example of a government doing what only governments can do for free people.