Concerns raised over LNG proposal over predicted greenhouse gas emissions

VANCOUVER -- Canada's environmental review body says greenhouse gas emissions from a proposed liquefied natural gas facility on British Columbia's north coast pose a significant ecological threat.

See Full Article

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency released its draft environmental assessment report on Wednesday for Pacific NorthWest LNG's planned $3.6-billion export terminal on Lelu Island, south of Prince Rupert.

The report found the project alone would produce 5.28 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, while upstream activities would contribute an additional 6.5 million to 8.7 million tonnes. Those levels represent an overall increase in provincial emissions of 8.5 per cent and between 10 and 14 per cent respectively, the document concludes.

"The upstream greenhouse gas emissions ... can be characterized similarly to the direct emissions: high in magnitude, continuous, irreversible and global in extent," reads the report.

Clark has long trumpeted B.C.'s potential to develop the cleanest LNG on the planet, lauding the proposed industry as a worldwide pollution fighter that will replace dirty coal with cleaner-burning natural gas in countries such as China.

Canada's review agency is soliciting public feedback before submitting its draft assessment to the federal government. Cabinet is expected to decide whether to approve the project by the end of March.

In November 2014, B.C. issued an environmental review certificate for Pacific NorthWest's initiative, which is backed by Malaysia's state-owned energy giant Petronas.

Provincial Energy Minister Rich Coleman praised the report because it shows fish habitat isn't at risk, adding he's already received feedback from First Nations who say the document has changed their perception of the project.

Speaking to reporters in Victoria, he said the province is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in other areas, which has been relayed to the federal government.

"So when I met with the minister last week in Ottawa I just reminded him that if you're going to look at our standards in (greenhouse gas) give us credit for what we're already doing," Coleman added.

The Lax Kw'alaams First Nation has been outspoken in its opposition to the proposal. A spokeswoman said its members were still reviewing the draft review before commenting publicly.

Royal Dutch Shell announced earlier this month it was postponing its final decision on whether to invest in the coastal mega-project amidst plummeting global energy prices.

Pacific NorthWest LNG spokesman Spencer Sproule thanked the federal government in a statement and said the company would review the draft report.

"PNW LNG is committed to building and operating a world-class LNG facility in an environmentally sustainable manner that First Nations and residents in the region can be proud of," Sproule wrote.

The project's main sticking point up until now has been over its possible impact on the area's salmon population, with some aboriginal groups in the region voicing strong protest.

The Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition expressed its disappointment with the review, adding that the "incredibly superficial" report omitted key, peer-reviewed science.

"Given the scientifically established importance of Flora Bank to Skeena salmon, to say that this project will not have significant adverse impacts on salmon is completely incorrect and shows us once again that the CEAA process is broken," said Greg Horne in a statement.

The facility would be located at the mouth of the Skeena River, which is considered vital to the ecosystem of B.C.'s second-largest salmon-bearing waterway.

But the federal review concluded that by taking appropriate mitigation measures, the construction and operation of the facility wouldn't significantly affect either marine or freshwater fish habitat.

Besides emissions levels, the only other significant concern raised in the report was the potential impact on harbour porpoise.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Manufacturing sales fall in June after 3 straight monthly gains

    Economic CBC News
    An assembly worker Chrysler's Windsor assembly plant is shown. Statistics Canada reported Thursday that manufacturing sales fell in June, after three months in a row of gains. (Reuters) Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell in June, following three consecutive months of gains. Source
  • Train or fire? Bosses grapple with how to handle off-hours transgressions

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- It didn't take long for social media to reveal the identities of some of the participants of a racially charged protest in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. But it wasn't just individuals who were outed by outraged critics -- it was companies, brands and even suspected employers of individual protesters who were suddenly put on notice that the world was watching. Source
  • Why autos are such an important part of NAFTA

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The future of Canada's more than one million automotive jobs has emerged as a critical part of what's at stake at the NAFTA renegotiation table in Washington after the U.S. chief negotiator targeted the sector on the first day of talks Wednesday. Source
  • Where does the CIBC-PC Financial breakup leave consumers?

    Economic CBC News
    CIBC and President's Choice Financial are amicably breaking up a 20-year banking marriage and divvying up the assets — news one financial expert says isn't necessarily a good or bad thing for consumers. In a nutshell, President's Choice Financial will keep the PC Financial MasterCard credit card service and the PC Plus loyalty program, while the two million PC Financial banking customers will move to CIBC's new service called Simplii Financial. Source
  • Good chance of Pacific trade deal being reached: New Zealand lawmaker

    Economic CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- New Zealand’s trade minister said Thursday he believes there’s an odds-on chance that a group of 11 Pacific nations including Japan and Australia will sign a free-trade deal, despite the U.S. Source
  • Sears Canada executive chairman steps away to make bid for retailer

    Economic Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — Sears Canada executive chairman Brandon Stranzl is stepping away from his role to launch a bid for the beleaguered retailer, which is restructuring under court protection from creditors. A memo to staff Wednesday about his departure from the top job said the company’s goal is to create a path to emerge from creditor protection. Source
  • CIBC takes over PC Financial bank accounts, launches Simplii banking brand

    Economic Toronto Sun
    The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is taking over President’s Choice Financial bank accounts with a new online brand as it responds to the continuing trend towards digital banking. The Toronto-based bank said Wednesday it will cut its nearly 20-year relationship with PC Financial-owner Loblaw Companies Ltd. Source
  • Asian shares rise higher after gains on Wall Street

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO - Asian shares were mostly higher Thursday in narrow trading, tracking gains overnight on Wall Street. Japan's Nikkei 225 index slipped as the yen strengthened against the U.S. dollar. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index edged 0.1 per cent lower to 19,718.09. Source
  • Global stocks slip as investors digest central bank reports

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO -- Stock markets mostly fell on Thursday as investors digested the minutes to the last policy meetings of the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank. KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX edged 0.1 per cent lower to 12,253 and the CAC 40 of France fell 0.2 per cent to 5,166. Source
  • Belgium joins legal action against tainted egg 'cheats'

    Economic CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- Belgium's Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarme says the government will join in legal action against those responsible for the egg contamination scandal, which has hit at least 17 countries. Ducarme told The Associated Press Wednesday that "the Belgian government wants to take part in civil proceedings. Source