LNG can help B.C. prepare for future energy sources, prof says

The $40-billion project, announced Tuesday in a joint NEWS conference with Premier John Horgan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will carry natural gas through a pipeline from Dawson Creek to Kitimat before being shipped overseas

Environmental groups were quick to criticize Canada’s announcement of an official investment in a liquefied natural gas facility in Kitimat and how it will affect sources of natural and renewable energy. But an environmental professor at UBC says the project will instead help B.C. be ready for what comes next.

The $40-billion project, announced Tuesday in a joint NEWS conference with Premier John Horgan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will carry natural gas through a pipeline from Dawson Creek to Kitimat before being shipped overseas. It marks the largest private-sector investment in Canadian history.

“LNG Canada and the thousands of fracking wells it would require will create 8.6 mega-tonnes of carbon pollution, nearly as much as every passenger vehicle in the province,” the Wilderness Committee said in a news release.

“Nothing indicates the provincial government will be able to make up for the added burden to meet its newest climate target of a 14 mega-tonne reduction by 2030. That goal was set after B.C. announced it would miss its 2020 target.”

READ MORE: B.C. Greens will vote against LNG Canada going ahead

READ MORE: Carbon tax, sales tax breaks finally make B.C. LNG happen

Kevin Hanna, director at the Centre for Environmental Assessment Research at the University of British Columbia, told Black Press Media that if natural gas replaces coal and keeps new factories from opening in China, there is a net benefit.

“I think we have to view it as a global contribution because greenhouse gases don’t respect a jurisdictional boundary,” Hanna said. “If we see it as a transitional fuel, it could put B.C. in a really good position to provide that product to market as they bring other products online.”

Natural gas is most commonly used for power production – first discussed in B.C.’s political arena in 1982. Since then, environmental groups like the Pembina Institute have voiced concern over methane leaks, which can occur during production, delivery and use of natural gas and emit carbon monoxide.

While Hanna agreed with concern over such leaks, he said the risk can be mitigated as long as best practices and technologies are used for extraction, liquefaction, and shipping.

In March, the NDP ordered an independent panel to review hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction and how the process affects water quality and supply. Those results are expected by the end of the year.

Q&A: John Horgan on environmental challenges of LNG Canada

LNG does not discourage other renewable energy sources, as some environmental groups suggest, Hanna said.

“It allows for us to move from coal specifically to natural gas for a period of time and then onto other things – or bring other things into that mix,” he said, referring to wind, solar, hydroelectric and, in some places, nuclear power.

“All of those things take time to get up and running and to build on a scale to replace the older, dirtier power production,” he said, adding large players in the energy sector must start incorporating cleaner modes of production sooner than later.

The Kitimat project indicates a future for LNG facilities in other parts of Canada, Hanna said, especially as the transportation industry heads towards electric.

“The real huge challenge for us is transportation, which is globally liquid fuel based,” he said.

“If there is a big shift to electrification – which is possible in a very short period of time – then where is that power going to come from? I think LNG is going to play a big role in that.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Grim situation in coming year for northwest, B.C. fisheries

Annual post-season review in Prince Rupert informs DFO on how to manage 2019 fishing season

Two projects to tackle Haisla housing shortage

B.C. government plans to build more than 280 homes across nine communities in the north

Museum and Haisla Nation Council sign MOU

MOU further strengthens the existing relationship

VIDEO: Dog behaviourist holds classes to raise funds for NARA

Holidays are a busy time for rescue agencies

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

UPDATE: B.C. judge grants $10M bail for Huawei executive wanted by U.S.

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Most Read