LNG - Fracking

Andrew Nikiforuk
'Long-term supplies of gas at low prices are by no means assured,' says analyst David Hughes. Gas plant photo via Shutterstock.

A new report on liquefied natural gas prospects for British Columbia challenges government claims that gas exports will lower greenhouse gas emissions, or generate $100 billion in profits for the province.

The report published today by David Hughes, one of Canada's foremost energy analysts and a former federal government geoscientist, also contends that the provincial government has vastly overestimated the amount of gas available for export.

Brent Jang
An artistic rendering of Pacific NorthWest LNG‘s proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal on Lelu Island, near Prince Rupert in northwestern B.C. (Pacific NorthWest LNG)

B.C.’s liquefied natural gas industry threatens to harm the environment and erode Canada’s energy security, says a new analysis.

Geoscientist David Hughes, in a study for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, warns that LNG is far from the clean fuel that the B.C. government portrays it to be. Water filling the equivalent of nearly 22,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools a year would be required in the industry’s fracking process in drilling for natural gas in northeast British Columbia, he said.

Justine Hunter
The proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project would be built on Lelu Island, near eelgrass beds that nurture young Skeena salmon. (www.lonniewishart.com/Pacific Northwest LNG)

The prospect of a liquefied natural gas industry in B.C. would be a game-changer for aboriginal communities, Premier Christy Clark said on Wednesday. But she sidestepped the question of what happens if some of those communities continue to say no to the developments.

Instead, Ms. Clark’s announcement about a major step along the path toward securing the Pacific NorthWest LNG plant – a proposal already rejected by the Lax Kw’alaams – left the door open to pushing the project through, despite the province’s preference to avoid a confrontation over aboriginal rights and title.

Erin Anderssen
Aboriginal artist Lianna Spence poses with her 12-year-old daughter Kiera on Finlayson Island, near Lax Kw’alaams. (Brent Jang for The Globe and Mail)

A senior aboriginal leader in British Columbia says First Nations will continue to oppose oil and gas developments in the province even if it means rejecting billion-dollar payouts – as long as environmental protections are not guaranteed.

The Canadian Press
Lelu Island, near Prince Rupert, BC, is the proposed site of the Pacific Northwest LNG project, backed by the Malaysian energy company Petronas.

A natural gas benefit offer worth more than $1 billion has been rejected by a First Nation on B.C.'s northwest coast, but not everyone thinks it will necessarily scuttle the project.

Pacific NorthWest LNG was proposing to build a pipeline and terminal in the Lax Kw'alaams Band territory just south of Prince Rupert.

Band members were asked to vote on a $1.15 billion offer over 40 years in exchange for their consent for the project.

The vote in Vancouver on Tuesday was the third in a series conducted by the First Nation that rejected the project.

Ian Gill
Flora Bank

Leonardo Boff, a Brazilian theologian and writer known for his work among the poor and the excluded, is credited with coining a phrase that is as true as any you'll ever hear: ''The opposite of poverty is not wealth -- it is justice.''

It is a phrase that has also been attributed to Bryan Stevenson, founder of America's Equal Justice Initiative and a man Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called, without qualification, ''America's Nelson Mandela.''

Brent Jang
Chatham Sound

A major energy project seeking aboriginal support for a plan to export B.C. liquefied natural gas has run into strong resistance from a First Nations group worried about the plight of salmon.

The Lax Kw’alaams band is weighing the promises of LNG prosperity against the perils of losing a traditional way of life that relies heavily on salmon and other marine food and resources.

CBC staff
The Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, of the Trondek Hwechin First Nation

The Trondek Hwechin First Nation says documents indicating that the Yukon government is pursuing a draft strategy for hydraulic fracturing represent a serious breach of trust.

A presentation by the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources that was intended for caucus recommends the government focus on fracking — notably in the Eagle Plain basin in northern Yukon, and the Liard basin in the southeast corner of the territory. 

David Minkow
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick ban fracking

Four years ago, if you had asked Stephanie Merrill of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick(CCNB) and Jennifer West of the Ecology Action Centre (EAC) in Nova Scotia the odds of success in their respective efforts to enact fracking bans in their provinces, they would have likely replied: pretty low. After all, they were going up against a powerful industry, lax government oversight, and a largely uninformed public.

Yet last fall, the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick joined Quebec in halting the practice of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas.


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