Victoria chapter at community forum opposed to Steelhead LNG project

Photo by Torrance Coste

The Council of Canadians Victoria chapter and allies held a community forum last night on the proposed Steelhead-Malahat liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

The community forum was co-sponsored by the Sierra Club BC, the Saanich Inlet Network, Divest Victoria, the Dogwood Initiative, the Wilderness Committee, and the Council of Canadians. Torrance Coste from the Wilderness Committee comments, "Packed house at LNG in Victoria forum here in Esquimalt. Lots of concern over fracking and climate change. ...Great evening in Victoria at forum on LNG and the threats it poses to the coast and the climate. Lots of power in this community to stop this fossil fuel nightmare."

In terms of context, the Globe and Mail has reported, "A new LNG project envisioned for Vancouver Island would accept natural gas via an underwater pipeline that would weave from Washington State through the Gulf Islands, according to a proposal released [on Sept. 1, 2015]. ...The proponent, Steelhead LNG Corp., has retained Williams Cos. Inc. to build the 128-kilometre pipeline – starting with a 53-km segment in Washington State and then extending 75 km underwater. The goal of the Island Gas Connector pipeline is to transport natural gas to the proposed Malahat LNG project south of Mill Bay on Vancouver Island."

That article adds, "The pipeline route would travel west across the Georgia Strait and run south of Salt Spring Island en route to Saanich Inlet. The export site, near Bamberton Provincial Park, would feature a floating LNG facility. Williams [Cos. Inc.] will be seeking approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Canada’s National Energy Board. ...Some of the supplies of natural gas could originate from Western Canada because Williams’ Northwest Pipeline system connects with Spectra Energy Corp.’s B.C. network at Sumas, Wash."

Photo by Torrence Coste

On Oct. 2, 2015, in the last days of the Harper government, the Canadian Press reported, "Steelhead says the National Energy Board has approved a 25-year licence for the annual export of up to six million tonnes of LNG from a proposed floating liquefaction and export terminal in Saanich Inlet."

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.

Further reading
Trudeau could decide on Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal in February (Jan. 10, 2016)

Photos by Torrance Coste.