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Harper & Clark approve LNG Canada project in BC

Action alert

The Harper and Clark governments have approved the Royal Dutch Shell PLC LNG Canada project.


The Vancouver Sun reports, “The federal government has decided the environmental impacts of the LNG Canada project are justified in the circumstances, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in a release.”


That article also notes, “Ottawa’s approval comes with 50 legally binding conditions dealing with fish habitat, migratory birds, human health and a host of other matters. …The provincial approval comes with 24 conditions dealing with greenhouse gases, wildlife impacts and aboriginal consultation, among other things.”


But the Globe and Mail adds, “Next steps for the Shell-led group include lower-profile federal and provincial regulatory approvals for certain permits. But the main environmental hurdle of obtaining the B.C. certificate and [Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s] blessing have been cleared, industry experts say.”


That article also notes, “Analysts expect the group to make a final investment decision by mid-2016 on whether to invest up to $40-billion on construction.”


The LNG Canada project underwent an environmental review provincially in a streamlined process with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. The Globe and Mail reports, “In 2013, the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office and CEAA agreed to an expedited process called ‘substitution’, designed to reduce unnecessary duplication.”


While this project is the first to be approved under a federal-provincial streamlined process, more could be on their way.


The Council of Canadians is calling on its supporters to oppose a streamlined review of the WesPac Midstream proposal for an LNG terminal on the Fraser River. The federal government has given the general public until June 24 to submit comments on the need for a federal review of the project. Please send your message demanding a thorough review here.


There are numerous other LNG proposals being advanced in British Columbia.


The Vancouver Sun has also reported, “There are 19 projects currently proposed for the West Coast, but observers only expect a handful to be built. [Last week] Pacific NorthWest LNG, led by Malaysia’s Petronas, formally decided to move ahead with its project near Prince Rupert, B.C.. But its final investment decision hinges on obtaining federal environmental approval and a development agreement with the B.C. government passing in the provincial legislature.”


The Council of Canadians is opposed to LNG terminal and pipeline projects. If just five LNG terminals were to be built, the facilities would release 13 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The fracking and transport of the gas would generate an additional 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The gas needed for five of these LNG terminals would also require an estimated 582 billion litres of water from BC’s rivers, lakes and streams. And just five LNG terminals could require an estimated 39,000 new wells by 2040, the majority of which would likely be fracked.


For more on our opposition to the the LNG agenda, please click here.