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LNG industry in BC would emit 28 million tonnes of greenhouse gases

Darwish speaks in Ladner on October 22.

Darwish speaks in Ladner on October 22.

The Council of Canadians is opposing the development of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) pipelines and export terminals in British Columbia. One key reason to oppose the LNG agenda is the greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated by the industry.

The Globe and Mail reports, “A newly released government report outlines the staggering amount of GHGs that an LNG industry would release into the atmosphere. The province is banking on the establishment of five LNG facilities. If that ambition is met, the province’s GHG emissions will increase by 28 million tonnes when the extraction and transport of natural gas are included. …The February 2014 draft report from the consulting firm Globe Advisors looked more broadly at the ‘life cycle’ of natural gas right from the wellhead showing that more than half of emissions are generated upstream of the LNG plants. With five facilities … an estimated 13 million tonnes of GHGs would be released under the government’s ambitious benchmarks. Another 15 million tonnes of carbon would be released as a result of extracting the natural gas from the ground in the province’s northeast and then shipping it by pipeline to the facilities on the coast.”

As part of its climate action agenda, British Columbia has set an emissions target of 41 million tonnes of GHGs for the province by 2020. If even just five LNG export terminals were to be in operation emitting a total of 28 million tonnes of GHGs, that means LNGs would be responsible for almost 70 per cent of the province’s carbon emissions.

The news article also highlights other concerns noted by the Globe Advisors report, notably: “The scale of development can have major implications for local communities, land use, and water resources. Serious hazards, including the potential for air pollution and for contamination of surface and groundwater, must be successfully addressed.”

Vancouver-based Council of Canadians regional organizer Leila Darwish is currently on a 6-city speaking tour opposing LNG pipelines and export terminals in British Columbia. The tour has been to Ladner (October 22), Powell River (November 2), and Courtenay (November 4), will be in Victoria (November 26), and plans are being made for public forums in Campbell River and Nanaimo (January/ February). It is also possible that Port Alberni could be added to this tour in the new year.

The Delta-Richmond, Powell River, Comox Valley, Campbell River and Mid-Island-Nanaimo chapters have been key in the organizing of this tour.

The tour follows our LNG Pipedreams, Fractured Futures and Community Resistance counter-summit in Vancouver in May and the LNG and Petro-State Politics forum in Squamish in September. We have also supported the Gitxsan land defenders and their Madii Lii Camp (that opposes the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline to the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal on Lelu Island), as well as the Unis’tot’en action camp (which stands on the pathway of the Pacific Trail pipeline to the proposed Kitimat LNG terminal).

The Council of Canadians is opposed to LNG/ fracking projects because they: contribute to climate change; consume massive amounts of water; cause ecosystem destruction and disrupt communities; often violate the rights of Indigenous peoples; mean a high number of LNG tanker ships impacting marine safety, fishing areas and local wildlife; impact air quality, notably the plants emit sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide; require huge amounts of electricity and/or burn natural gas to generate power; could result in a disastrous LNG spill in an ocean passage; and may power destructive projects in other countries.

Further reading
LNG concerns in Ladner, Powell River and Campbell River
The four LNG terminals most likely to be built