LNG

B.C. Government Payments for LNG Support Called 'Bribery,' Divide Gitxsan Nation

By Trevor Jang for Discourse Media.

Earl Muldon sits at his kitchen table surrounded by family, sipping coffee. His wife Shirley brings over a plate of cream cake topped with huckleberries. They’re hand-picked from the land surrounding his two-storey home in Gitanmaax, a village of about 800 people from the Gitxsan Nation in northwestern British Columbia, near the town of New Hazelton.

To the Gitxsan people, 80-year-old Muldon is known by another name: Delgamuukw. That name — a symbolic ancestral chief name passed down from generation to generation of Gitxsan people — is also one of the most well-known chief names in the rest of Canada. Delgamuukw was the lead plaintiff in a historic court case that confirmed that Aboriginal title, ownership of traditional lands had not been extinguished by any colonial government.  

It’s a name that’s greatly respected. We’ve earned respect for it,” says Muldon, who was one of three people to hold the Delgamuukw name during the court proceedings.

B.C. Government Pulls LNG Television Ad After Complaint

By Andrew MacLeod for The Tyee.

The British Columbia government has pulled a television ad that claimed $20 billion has already been invested in the LNG industry in the province, but denies the decision was due to a citizen’s complaint to the industry body that self-regulates advertising in Canada.

Blogger Merv Adey reported Thursday that a complaint about the liquified natural gas ad one of his readers had made to Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) had succeeded.

Rather than respond to the complaint… the B.C. Government has decided to withdraw the misleading $20-billion figure from all its advertising,” he wrote. “The ASC now considers the matter closed, though a case summary with no names attached will appear on the ASC’s quarterly report.”

A Surprisingly Simple Solution to Canada’s Stalled Energy Debate

If you feel exhausted by Canada’s fevered debates about oil pipelines, liquefied natural gas terminals, renewable energy projects and mines, there just might be relief in sight.

Right now, the federal government is reviewing its environmental assessment (EA) process. Yes, it’s reviewing its reviews. And while that might sound kinda boring, it could actually revolutionize the way Canada makes decisions about energy projects.

My highest hope is that Canada will take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity … and take a really visionary approach to environmental assessment,” said Anna Johnston, staff counsel at West Coast Environmental Law.

That could include implementing something called “strategic environmental assessment,” which creates a forum for the larger discussions about things like oil exports, LNG development or all mining in an area.

So instead of the current environmental assessment process, in which pipeline reviews have become proxy battles for issues such as climate change and cumulative effects, there’d actually be a higher-level review designed specifically to examine those big-picture questions. 

Fracking Fluid Caused Months-Long Earthquake Events In Alberta: New Study

Fracking

Fracking has induced earthquakes in northwest Alberta, Tweet: Proof is in the pudding: #fracking causing huge, long-lasting earthquakes in NW Alberta http://bit.ly/2g6F0rn #ableg #cdnpoli #oilandgassome of which have lasted for months due to residual fracking fluid, according to a new study published in Science today.

Earthquakes induced by fracking have been noticed in Western Canada for about four years, but this is one of the first studies to specifically identify the causes that resulted in “activation.”

B.C.'s First LNG Plant Gets Investment Green Light

This article originally appeared on The Climate Examiner at the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

British Columbia’s first major liquefied natural gas project is set to go ahead with Woodfibre LNG’s announcement last week of funding to build a $1.6 billion processing and export plant in Squamish.

The project, which promises some 650 construction jobs and 100 permanent operating jobs to the small town with a population of 17,000, aims to begin exporting some 2.1 million tonnes of LNG annually to Asia from 2020.

The plant is much smaller than the highly controversial $11 billion Pacific NorthWest (PNW) LNG terminal planned near Prince Rupert that received conditional approval from the federal Liberal government in September and which would ship some ten times the amount of the Woodfibre project each year.

It is however the first of 20 proposed LNG export projects in British Columbia to be given company approval — a development that will bring much cheer to the provincial government which is facing an election next May and for whom a flourishing LNG industry is the centerpiece of its economic development plans.

New Research Finds Salmon Reside, Feed in Flora Bank Estuary, Site of Pacific Northwest LNG Terminal

Gaps in basic knowledge about salmon in the estuary near Flora Bank call into question the review — and approval — of the Pacific Northwest LNG terminal proposed for the mouth of the Skeena River, according to new research from fisheries biologist Jonathan Moore.

Data published Wednesday in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series shows salmon species don’t merely transit through the Skeena River estuary, as advanced by Pacific Northwest LNG in its environmental assessment, but can linger in the unique estuary environment for much longer periods of time than previously thought.

Tweet: ‘Young salmon in the #FloraBank estuary are rearing from days to weeks & some individuals for months’ http://bit.ly/2fEqSSs #PNWLNGThe young salmon in the Flora Bank estuary are rearing from days to weeks and some individuals for months,” Moore told DeSmog Canada.

In its environmental assessment Pacific Northwest LNG stated young salmon were moving through the estuary. Our data states that’s not true; the salmon are residing in the area.”

The Paris Agreement Is Now In Effect. In Canada You’d Never Know

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s performance at the UN Climate Summit in Paris last December wooed and amazed the international community.

Fresh off the election circuit, Trudeau proudly proclaimed, “Canada is back,” to a cheering crowd of global delegates.

Just days later Canada, along with the rest of the international community, signed the Paris Agreement, a historic treaty designed to limit global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius (or as close to 1.5 degrees as possible) that came into effect Friday, November 4.

But A LOT has happened in the interim in Canada, between signing the document and its coming into force.

Much of that does not bode well at all for climate action.

David Suzuki: We Can’t Dig Our Way Out of the Fossil Fuels Hole

I’ve often thought politicians inhabit a parallel universe. Maybe it’s just widespread cognitive dissonance, coupled with a lack of imagination, that compels them to engage in so much contradictory behaviour. Trying to appease so many varying interests isn’t easy.

Rather than focusing on short-term economic and corporate priorities, though, politicians should first consider the long-term health and well-being of the people they’re elected to represent. When it comes to climate change and fossil fuels, many aren’t living up to that.

The 40-Year-Old Federal Salmon Study That Should Have Killed Pacific Northwest LNG

Salmon

The report is dated July 17, 1973, and stamped by the Department of the Environment.

Scientists had undertaken a study of fish in the Skeena estuary due to proposals to build a super port in the Prince Rupert area.

The federal government wanted to know: “What destructive consequences could be imparted on the fisheries resource by superport construction?”

So the scientists set out to find out which areas of the Skeena estuary — home to Canada’s second largest wild salmon run  — are most important for fish.

They found Flora Bank, one of the largest eelgrass beds in B.C., is “of high biological significance as a fish (especially juvenile salmon) rearing habitat,” and advised that “construction of a superport at the Kitson Island — Flora Bank site would destroy much of this critical salmon habitat.”

What Prince William and Kate Really Need to Know About B.C.

Dear Will and Kate,

Welcome to beautiful British Columbia!

You are getting a pretty epic tour this week — from Victoria and Vancouver to Bella Bella (sorry about the rain) and Haida Gwaii. All of us watching the photo-ops are pretty jelly to be honest.

Here’s the thing though: I’ve noticed you’re hearing plenty of platitudes about “protecting the environment” from our good-looking leaders, B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

I know you’re smart people, so I don’t want you to be fooled by their looks — or their words.

Don’t get me wrong: B.C. truly is a glorious place — the type of place you can fly over in a seaplane and easily think the wilderness will never end.

But it’s also one of the world’s last frontiers and the race is on to cut down our old-growth forests, to send more oil tankers into our ports, to build natural gas plants in our salmon estuaries and to flood our rivers for megadams.

Here are a few things I thought you ought to know about B.C. (and which I’m doubtful you’ll hear from Justin or Christy).

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