Council of Canadians campaigner Emma Lui looks out into the audience gathered for last night’s public forum.
The Council of Canadians Comox Valley chapter held a public forum last night titled Liquefied Fracked Gas: Risky Economic and Ecological Business.
The outreach for the event noted, “The British Columbia government has made extravagant claims about the benefits to British Columbians regarding LNG development – but were they just election promises? What will the consequences be for our environment and for Canada’s climate change commitments? How does the Site C dam fit into the picture? What are the effects of fracking on our fresh water supplies?”
The public forum featured two guest speakers – Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives analyst Ben Parfitt.
The event follows the federal Liberal government’s granting of permits for the Site C dam and its approval of the Pacific Northwest LNG terminal.
Site C is a proposed 60-metre high, 1,050-metre-long earth-filled dam and hydroelectric generation station on the Peace River between the communities of Hudson’s Hope and Taylor on Treaty 8 territory in northeastern British Columbia. It would add 150,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions to B.C.’s carbon footprint, the equivalent of putting 27,000 additional cars on the road each year.
The Petronas Pacific Northwest LNG export facility is now set to be constructed on Lax U’u’la (Lelu Island) on Lax Kw’alaams First Nation territory. It would receive fracked gas from Treaty 8 territory in northeastern BC via TransCanada’s Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project pipeline. The terminal would result in 5.3-million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year, and another 6.5-million to 8.7-million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions would come from the extraction and transportation of the fracked gas that would feed the terminal. The LNG terminal and its associated upstream operations would also consume 5.1 million cubic metres of fresh water per year, the equivalent of the annual fresh water use of 56,000 people.
Parfitt says Site C is for the natural gas industry to do more fracking and export liquefied natural gas.
The Sierra Club explains, “The links between Petronas, fracking and Site C are becoming clear. Site C would generate 5,100 GWh of power. The Petronas plant, if built, would consume approximately 70 per cent of B.C.’s current production of fracked gas. The B.C. government’s climate plan proposes to reduce the amount of gas used to power fracking operations. The government claims it can reduce the carbon pollution from fracking by 2.4 megatonnes by using electricity instead of gas itself. It would take about 6,400 GWh of electricity to achieve that goal, which would mean it would use all of the additional power Site C would supply, plus 1,300 GWh of today’s existing power supply.”
Lui says, “Allowing fracking and LNG industries to expand will have unprecedented impacts on water sources and on the province’s greenhouse gas emissions. Studies already show that fracked natural gas can produce as much greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as coal. People are hungry for real change. The Trudeau government giving the green light to the Site C dam and the Pacific Northwest LNG project is a disappointing continuation of the Harper government’s policies. There’s no way around it. Every lake and every river must be protected.”