Alternative facts ala Trump fuel Vancouver’s push to ban natural gas

When is the “ban” on natural gas in Vancouver not a ban on natural gas in Vancouver?

Taking a page out of Donald Trump’s White House, which insisted its “vetting system to keep America safe” is not a travel ban on targeted Muslims, Vancouver City Hall has been proclaiming that its green city goal does not translate into a ban on natural gas.

Then this week, Matt Horne, the City of Vancouver’s climate policy manager writes in an op-ed that Vancouver is moving towards the Greenest City goal of eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels.

And agrees that city policy does pledge to “phase out” fossil fuels gradually by the year 2050.

It is now implementing a range of punitive policies and bylaws to achieve its goal but continues to insist that there is no “ban” on natural gas.

That’s like Trump’s White House saying to a Muslim traveler, you are welcome to come but we will make it impossible for you to enter America.

This pattern of misrepresentation by Vancouver City Hall is becoming a common tactic by the army of corporate communicators pushing Mayor Gregor Robertson’s personal mission to be hailed as the planet’s green giant at the expense of the taxpayer.

Despite a chorus of opposition from industry, ratepayers and energy experts, the city is unwilling to relook at its aggressive and costly plans, which in the end are going to have a minimal impact on countering greenhouse gas emissions globally.

For instance, Mayor Robertson wants you to know that “the City of Vancouver powers City Hall with green gas we purchase from FortisBC.”

That is part of his propaganda to push its unrealistic and unaffordable green agenda down the throats of taxpayers.

So is the statement, which is meant to show leadership by example, true?

Not really.

It is what you can call an “alternative fact” because it is truth deficit.

Vancouver City Hall is one of about 900 FortisBC customers that live or do business in Vancouver who have opted to pay more for renewable natural gas (RNG) to be blended into existing natural gas distribution pipelines and delivered.

There is no special pipeline bringing green gas to Vancouver City Hall, as the statement wants you to believe.

If that were the case, City Hall will likely probably need a landfill of its own to breakdown organic waste to create the biogas and a special pipeline to deliver it to Cambie Street.

And if Vancouver’s Renewable City Strategy requires everyone switch to renewable natural gas, we would need 104 more large landfill facilities.

Here is another example of Vancouver City Hall’s ‘alternative fact’.

As part of its Renewable City Strategy, new developments requiring a rezoning have to comply with standards that effectively prohibit the installation of furnaces, fireplaces, hot-water heaters and cooktops in the projects, as of May 1.

“Vancouver’s rezoning changes align with the provincial government’s introduction of the BC Energy Step Code,” said the city, while reiterating its hollow mantra that it is not banning the use of natural gas.

The BC Energy Step Code is a fuel neutral policy that allows builders and customers to choose their energy source to meet provincial targets that are voluntary and intended to be introduced gradually over time.

It is anything but aligned with Vancouver’s move to effectively eliminate the use of natural gas in rezoned buildings with punitive bylaws.

FortisBC, which delivers approximately 21 per cent of the total electricity, natural gas and propane consumed in British Columbia said the City of Vancouver’s assertion that its energy policy is aligned with provincial policies “is incorrect and misleading”.

Mayor Robertson and his ‘Gang Green’ at City Hall have continuously evaded the hard questions about the new energy plans.

When asked how much this is going to cost, they respond with questionable greenhouse gas savings projections.

When asked if Vancouverites will be paying more for heating their homes with electricity instead of natural gas - about $1,500 a year for a family of four – its rhetoric revolves around everyone needs to pay for a greener planet.

The City of Vancouver’s evasive answers and white lies don’t add up to the green truth it is peddling.

If its ultimate goal is to ban natural gas, then say it like it is and stop hoodwinking the public.

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