British Columbians Back LNG Expansion, Split on Nuclear Power

The possibility of rising energy costs for households is a prevalent concern for half of the province’s residents.

Vancouver, BC [February 3, 2022] – A majority of British Columbians endorse the expansion of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector in the province, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 55% of British Columbians support the provincial government allowing for further development of the LNG industry, while 29% are opposed and 17% are undecided.

Support for the expansion of LNG development is highest in Southern BC (67%), followed by the Fraser Valley (56%), Metro Vancouver (also 56%), Northern BC (55%) and Vancouver Island (41%).

Two other ideas related to energy are more contentious. While 43% of British Columbians are in favour of allowing nuclear power (small modular reactors) for electricity generation, 40% disagree.

The notion of the provincial government banning the use of natural gas (on stoves and/or heaters) in new buildings is supported by 39% of British Columbians and opposed by 45%.

Half of British Columbians (50%) say they are “very concerned” about energy costs for households becoming too expensive.

Fewer residents are particularly worried about the effects of climate change in the world (48%), the effects of climate change in Canada (45%), energy shortages leading to measures such as rationing and rolling blackouts (31%) and energy costs for businesses becoming too expensive (28%).

The provincial government will require all car and passenger truck sales to be zero-emission by 2035. Seven-in-ten British Columbians (70%) support this goal, while 21% oppose it and 8% are not sure.

“There are some regional differences in British Columbia on the impending move to electric vehicles,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. ”Opposition to the goal is highest in Southern BC (37%), followed by Northern BC (30%), the Fraser Valley (22%), Metro Vancouver (20%) and Vancouver Island (15%).”

Among those who support the zero-emission goal established by the provincial government, 32% believe it is achievable and 38% think it is not achievable.

British Columbians are split on the current pace of the move to electric vehicles, with 26% saying the change is being implemented too quickly, 38% thinking it is happening at the right pace and 23% thinking it is taking place too slowly.

Methodology:Results are based on an online study conducted on January 9 to January 11, 2023, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]