The Council of Canadians at a protest against the Woodfibre LNG terminal.
The trade publication World Gas Intelligence has ranked the five liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals that are most likely to proceed in Canada.
In order, they are:
1- Woodfibre LNG (which would be located near Squamish, 65 kilometres north of Vancouver)
2- Pacific NorthWest LNG (on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert)
3- LNG Canada (in Kitimat)
4- WCC LNG (in Prince Rupert)
5- Goldboro LNG (in Nova Scotia)
It has been estimated that if five LNG terminals were to proceed in Canada, they would release 13 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The fracking and transport of that gas would generate an additional 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and would require an estimated 582 billion litres of water.
The Council of Canadians continues to speak out against the LNG agenda, including having made formal submissions to governments on the top two ranked LNG proposals.
In March 2015, the Council of Canadians made a submission to the B.C. Environment Assessment Office calling on the provincial government to reject the Woodfibre LNG project. Unfortunately, last month the Trudeau government approved the Woodfibre LNG export terminal saying it “is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects”. In March 2016, the Council of Canadians made its formal submission to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in opposition to the LNG terminal. Federal environment minister Catherine McKenna has deferred a decision on that proposal until at least June 21.
In a June 2013 campaign blog we noted that the Goldboro LNG terminal would be built near Guysborough, Nova Scotia. Pieridae Energy (Canada) Ltd. is developing the project and has announced a multi-year supply agreement with E.ON AG, a publicly traded German company. LNG World News has reported, “Under the agreement, Pieridae will deliver approximately 5 million tons per annum (MTPA) of LNG to E.ON for 20 years into a number of locations in Western Europe.”
It is conceivable that these German investors could use the investment protection provisions within the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) should a future Canadian government place restrictions on fracking in Canada. It has also been pointed out that the Malaysian-based corporation behind the Pacific NorthWest LNG project could use the investment protection provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to sue the Canadian government if it were to limit LNG exploitation on Lax U’u’la (Lelu Island).
Unfortunately, so far, the Trudeau government has been supportive of the LNG and fracking industry.
On Feb. 19, 2015, the Harper government announced a tax cut – estimated to be about $50 million over five years, but increasing through to 2024 – to help spur the development of the LNG industry. Given the Liberals had promised to end subsidies to the fossil fuel industry there had been some hope the Trudeau government would cancel this tax cut. But on Nov. 23, 2015 the Vancouver Sun reported, “B.C. Premier Christy Clark has been assured by the new Liberal government that it won’t remove a tax break considered crucial for the nascent liquefied natural gas industry.”
In fact, the federal budget tabled this past World Water Day states, “An accelerated capital cost allowance (CCA) is currently available for certain liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities. For assets acquired before 2025, an effective CCA rate of 30 per cent is available for eligible liquefaction equipment and 10 per cent for related buildings. This treatment serves as an incentive to invest in new facilities that supply LNG to new markets. Consistent with Canada’s G20 commitment to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term, the Government intends to maintain this tax preference as currently legislated and allow it to expire as scheduled.”
For extensive commentary and analysis on the dangers of the LNG industry, please see our campaign web-page here.