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Neil Salmond picked up on this: Environment Minister Mary Polak’s Earth Day Statement – with, he says, the sneaky rhetoric (in bold).

Earth Day is a time to not only reflect on and appreciate British Columbia’s natural splendour, but to also consider the role we want our province to take in the global climate challenge.

British Columbia has a deserved reputation as a climate action leader. Our revenue-neutral carbon tax and our status as a carbon-neutral government are just two of our well-documented climate achievements. In terms of government action, those accomplishments were ground breaking and have since been emulated by other jurisdictions.

But, though only less than a decade old, they were also conceived in a different time – in a time before the worst economic recession in generations touched the entire world, and in a time before we could imagine how clean natural gas could revolutionize the global fight against climate change.

Is this “buttering up readers for the end of the carbon tax”?

Neil is not alone:

It was renewables lawyer Warren Brazier that spotted it first – here. And UBC’s George Hoberg – here – and Edmonton Energy Economist Andrew Leach – here – agreed.

But:

The optimist’s counterpoint points to the Pacific Coast Collaborative at the end of last year – here – and this trumpeting in March – here.

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One thing for sure, it’s another example of doublespeak: We will address climate change by burning more fossil fuels.

Our proven track record of climate leadership and our unwavering commitment to sustainable economic growth will also guide the development of B.C.’s liquefied natural gas industry. Climate change is a global issue. By exporting our abundant natural gas, B.C. will supply growing markets with the cleanest burning fossil fuel from the world’s cleanest LNG plants.

It’s certainly an example of how “sustainable” becomes a totally co-opted word when used next to “economic growth.”