Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Letter from Scientists calls for Federal Government to reject Pacific NorthWest LNG project

The reading list on the theme of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project is getting longer and longer for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as the Ministers of Natural  Resources and Justice.

The latest contribution to the briefing notes, is a correspondence from Ninety scientists and academics who have put their name to a document calling into question the Greenhouse Gas emission projections from the proponents of the Lelu Island terminal project and calling on the Liberal government to reject the proposed development.

The collection of scientists and academics features a strong British Columbia contingent, along with other Canadians and Americans, as well some British and Australian participation makes up the global contingent in opposition to the proposed development.

The theme of their letter does approach one area of concern that the Liberals have expressed concern about in the past,  with the concern related to Green House Gas emissions a topic that the Federal cabinet ministers have been issued direction on.

Last fall upon taking office, a number of ministers were tasked to meet the Federal Government's Greenhouse Gas ambitions through their Ministry mandate letters of November of 2015.

It's on that topic where the concerns from the letter may best resonate with federal officials.

The letter that was delivered to the Federal Government on May 26th and takes issue with the research into the GHG levels that made up the Pacific NorthWest application. With the collection of scientists and academics stating that the project poses serious risks to climate change targets, that GHG emissions from the project are likely to be underestimated and that there is inadequate climate policy to reduce impacts for the project.

The scientists/academics also call into question the belief that the LNG delivered from the project will replace the use of coal in Asia.

A copy of the letter was also provided to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency which is currently reviewing the application from Pacific NorthWest LNG.

The full text of the letter can be reviewed below (click to expand):

You can review the full letter and the entire list of signatories from this link to the document.

The latest addition to the information flow on the proposed project has also resulted in a pair of rebuttals to the letter from the scientists/academics, with both industry and provincial government officials challenging some of the observations in the letter.

BC environmental minister Mary Polak called the letter a myopic view of the situation and observed that the Provincial government is planning to announce a number of GHG reduction measures later this month. She also outlined how the use of LNG would play an important transition fuel role for Asian countries as they look to replace coal.

For it's part Pacific Northwest officials outlined their concerns over the letter, reinforcing previous aspects of their presentation to the CEAA that the LNG terminal once in operation would supply the world's cleanest LNG to partners in Asia, who are eager to import the same natural gas that British Columbians use in their daily lives"

Pacific NorthWest LNG rejects climate experts' environmental concerns
B.C. environment minister says climate scientists' letter 'doesn't meet with reality'

An overview of some of the media coverage of the latest contribution to the debate over LNG in British Columbia can be found below:

Pacific NorthWest LNG project 'deeply concerns' climate change experts
Climate scientists from around the world ask Canadian government to stop B. C. LNG project
Climate scientists' plea: Reject B.C. LNG project
Scientists call on Feds to reject LNG project
More than 90 scientists dispute LNG project's emissions estimates
90 scientists and climate experts call on Trudeau to reject Pacific NorthWest LNG 
Scientists ask P.M. to reject proposed LNG plant
More than 90 climate experts, including Tim Flannery and James Hansen, call for rejection of Petronas LNG plant

The environmental review process for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project is currently in a pause mode while the CEAA reviews some requested information from the proponent, it's anticipated that the entire file will be turned over to the Federal cabinet in June, with a final cabinet decision to be delivered sometime this summer.

You can review more background information related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project from our archive page here.

No comments:

Post a Comment