Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Environmental groups point to Federal Carbon ambitions in presentations against Pacific NorthWest LNG

A hearing on a request for a judicial
review of the Pacific NorthWest LNG
project is underway in Vancouver
An environmental overview is the focus for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project in a Vancouver court room this week, as the first of a pair of legal challenges works its way through the Federal Courts.

This week, it's the background for a challenge from the SkeenaWild Conservation Trust that is being heard, part of the application for Judicial Review being heard by the Federal Court.

From the presentation this week, the environmental group continues to raise their concerns over the impact of the proposed Lelu Island LNG development proposed by Pacific NorthWest LNG and its parent company Malaysian energy giant Petronas.

When the challenge was first announced, shortly after the Federal approval for the project of the fall of 2016, SkeenaWild put much of its focus on what it called flawed information, seeking a judicial review of the project's approval, the hearing taking place this week is to answer that request.

And while the fate of salmon is still high on the list for SkeenaWild, the early submissions to the federal court indicate that they and other environmental groups will also be putting a focus a little closer to some key elements of the Trudeau government's climate action plans,.

A CBC report from the court room from yesterday notes that the focus for the contributions on Tuesday were related to the impact on Canada's carbon budget and how in the opinion of SkeenaWild and others, allowing the Pacific NorthWest LNG project to proceed would increase British Columbians emission levels and hurt Prime Minister Trudeau's goals of hitting climate change targets.

SkeenaWild is in a Vancouver court
this week seeking to move
forward with their call for a judicial
review of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project
Through the application stage for the proposed development, Pacific NorthWest LNG touted how their facility would be one of the most innovative and cleanest facilities to be constructed in the world.

Also making a submission to the court on Tuesday were representatives of the Pembina Institute, their contribution to the proceedings was how the federal approval of Pacific Northwest had failed to consider the beneficial emissions lowering opportunities that would have been available had the project made use of electricity as opposed to gas.

The environmental aspects of the proposed development are not the only issue that the Pembina Institute has raised when it comes to the proposed Port Edward project.

In May, Pembina had raised its concerns over the nature of the subsidy program that is in place to support British Columbia's LNG industry.

The thoughts on the subsidy program made for a companion piece to their research items related to the development of BC LNG and its impact of the issue of global carbon pollution.

The court proceedings taking place this week are designed to assess whether the request from SkeenaWild meets the legal parameters to go forward with their challenge.

In addition to the SkeenaWild challenge, Two Gitxsan First Nation hereditary chiefs are leading a First Nations challenge to the multi billion dollar LNG project.

The court challenges were not an unexpected development for the LNG proponent, whether the SkeenaWild challenge will be moving forward will be determined at the end of the Vancouver hearing process.

Shortly after the Federal approval was granted for the project, Petronas officials announced that Pacific NorthWest LNG and their shareholders would be conducting a total project review over the coming months.

Neither PNW LNG or Petronas officials have had many comments to share related to the status of that review since that September 2016 announcement.

For more items related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG proposal see our archive page here.

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