B.C. minister says 'we're not afraid' of federal environmental tests

VICTORIA -- British Columbia's minister in charge of liquefied natural gas is heading to Ottawa for talks on how the federal government's promised changes to environmental reviews will impact the province's plans for a multibillion dollar LNG industry.

See Full Article

"We're not afraid, frankly," Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman said Tuesday. "We're the guys who put in the carbon tax. We've been ahead of this curve. We've put in rules to make our LNG the cleanest in the world."

Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr has said his government will soon announce changes to the environmental approval process for oil and gas projects. He has said there will be a transition period for projects under review and no proponent will be asked to return to square one.

There were reports Tuesday that the changes will include a separate test to determine impacts on Canada's greenhouse gas emissions, which will apply to several projects under review, including Pacific NorthWest's planned LNG export terminal in northern B.C.

Coleman said he hasn't seen details of the federal Liberals' plans, but he expects B.C.'s current environmental regulations to meet any existing or new emissions standards.

"We believe we can always get better, but there is a lot of common ground here," he said.

He will travel to Ottawa next week to meet with Carr and is arranging a meeting with Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. Premier Christy Clark is also scheduled to be in Ottawa next week.

B.C.'s Environment Minister Mary Polak is expected to be in Ottawa Wednesday to meet with federal politicians.

Coleman said B.C. passed legislation that requires LNG operations to meet emissions benchmarks or face penalties. But environmental groups say B.C. won't meet its targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions one-third below 2007 levels by 2020.

The minister said he expects the release of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's draft report within weeks on whether to grant conditional approval of the proposed $36-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG export plant at Lelu Island, near Prince Rupert, B.C.

He said he also expects the federal cabinet to decide whether to approve the project by late March.

"The draft report comes put shortly and it would be before the federal cabinet before the end of March," said Coleman. "That's our hope. At this stage we think it's doable, and it seems the feedback we're getting federally is it's doable."

Pacific NorthWest LNG said in a statement it is engaged in a "constructive, science-based discussion with the government of Canada."

Backed by Malaysian state-owned energy giant Petronas, Pacific NorthWest LNG is billed as the largest private sector investment in B.C. history. It is expected to create up to 4,500 construction jobs and is estimated to generate $9 billion in revenues for the province in a decade.

Pacific NorthWest LNG has yet to make a final investment decision on the project.

At environmental approval hearings on Kinder Morgan's US$5.4 billion proposal to triple the capacity of the Alberta-to-B.C. Trans Mountain pipeline, opponents have urged the federal government to immediately halt the review and implement the changes.

Greenpeace Canada energy campaigner Mike Hudema said in a statement federal environmental tests on energy projects would be welcome.

"Any reasonable climate test needs to take into account the cumulative emissions of a project -- from producing, transporting and burning oil and be in line with Canada's climate commitment to help stabilize global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius -- a limit that means survival for millions of people."



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • 'Oldest record of life on Earth' found in Quebec

    Tech & Science CTV News
    The oldest known signs of life on Earth have been found in northern Quebec, buried in a sheet of potentially 4.3 billion-year-old bedrock that once formed the bottom of the planet's first ocean. An international team of scientists found fossilized traces of bacteria in iron ore samples taken from the Nuvvuagittuq Greenstone Belt, a rare surviving chunk of the planet's early crust now situated at the northern tip of Quebec. Source
  • Mould used by Fleming to make penicillin sells for US$14,597

    Tech & Science CTV News
    LONDON -- The international auction house Bonham's says it has sold a small, patchy disc of mould for $14,597. The off-white, nearly 90-year-old swatch of microbes has a rather extraordinary history: it was first created by Alexander Fleming to make penicillin, a revolutionary discovery that brought the world its first antibiotic. Source
  • 'Tipping point': Can 10 million wind turbines save the Arctic?

    Tech & Science CTV News
    An Arizona-based professor is proposing a very Canadian solution to saving the polar ice caps, using a common method for maintaining backyard ice rinks. Steven Desch and his team at Arizona State University say it's possible to restore a thick layer of sea ice to the Arctic, by using 10 million pumps to spray ocean water over the existing ice. Source
  • Twitter adds more safety tools, will curb abusive accounts

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Twitter is adding more tools to curb abuse on its service as part of its ongoing effort to protect users from hate and harassment. It is the second time in three weeks the company has released new ways to root out abusive content. Source
  • Review: Nintendo Switch is impressive, but needs more games

    Tech & Science CTV News
    When you're deep in a video game, the last thing you want to do is leave home. If only you could take the game with you for your commute to work or your bus ride to school, or to liven up your lunch hour. Source
  • Latest-generation Chinese combat drone makes maiden flight

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BEIJING -- China's latest-generation combat drone has made its maiden flight, in what its developer says is a sign that the country is catching up with industry leader the United States. The Aviation Industry Corporation of China says the Wing Loong II that flew for the first time on Monday can carry up to 480 kilograms of bombs and missiles. Source
  • Luxembourg fends off cyberattack on government sites

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Luxembourg authorities say they have fended off a cyberattack that sought to swamp official servers with connection requests, and there was no data breach. Gilles Feith, the chief of the CTIE government IT centre, said Wednesday that it was the first time the Luxembourg official sites had been targeted to such an extent. Source
  • Facebook beefs up suicide prevention focused on live video

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Facebook is beefing up its suicide prevention tools, including new options for people to report if someone might harm themselves while broadcasting on Facebook Live. Facebook said Wednesday that it's in a "unique position," through personal connections people have on Facebook, to help connect those in distress with people who can support them. Source
  • Meet the Kelowna instructor on shortlist to be Canada's next astronaut

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Over the summer, more than 3,700 Canadians applied to the Canadian Space Agency to become one of this country's next two astronauts. The Agency whittled that list down to 72 names at the start of February and a UBC Okanagan chemistry instructor is thrilled to be one of those candidates still in the running. Source
  • ?Trump signs bills to promote women in scientific fields

    Tech & Science CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump signed two House bills on Tuesday ahead of his first address to a joint session of Congress, both addressing the roles of women in science. The first bill, the Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act directs NASA to encourage women and girls to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), pursue careers in aerospace, and further advance the nation's space science and exploration efforts through…