Petronas, a Malaysian-led consortium, gave its approval yesterday to invest in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in British Columbia. It says it is waiting on two conditions: agreement from the provincial legislature and a positive environmental assessment.
“Not so fast,” says Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “The federal government may have thought that gutting our environmental protections would fast track oil and gas deals, but Canadians and Indigenous peoples have higher standards than Mr. Harper. People from coast to coast don’t want gas, oil and bitumen crisscrossing our waterways, increasing tar sands production and fracking. This is not a done deal.”
Petronas plans to build its export LNG facility on Lelu Island in northwestern British Columbia. Its terminal could be operational by 2018 and would be serviced by the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline. The Lax Kw'alaams First Nation voted unanimously to reject the deal last month despite being offered $1.15 billion for its approval. The chiefs of the Gitxsan house of Luutkudziiwus have already said that the pipeline cannot go through their territory. Communities have cited concerns about impacts on the Skeena River and salmon habitat in the watershed.
The Petronas deal could pave the way for another 17 LNG terminals along the Pacific Coast. Giving the green light to LNG terminals will mean more fracking projects in northeastern B.C. taking a toll on lakes and rivers and scuttling B.C.’s chance at being a climate leader.
For more information:
Emma Lui, Council of Canadians