Tilbury LNG marine jetty approval shows fossil fuel industry always gets its way

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Wilderness Committee

An aerial shot of Tilbury LNG. End of image description.
Tilbury LNG. WC Files.

Government climate commitments take a back seat as oil and gas industry gets what it wants, Wilderness Committee says

VANCOUVER / UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh AND səlilwətaɬ TERRITORIES — With today’s green light for FortisBC’s Tilbury Marine Jetty project in the Fraser River in Delta, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman and the BC NDP government have embraced a further expansion of fracking in northeastern B.C. at the expense of their own climate commitments. 

Tilbury Marine Jetty would transform FortisBC’s existing storage facility, on Tilbury Island, into a major export and refueling hub. This marine portion of the gas utility’s expansion plans for Tilbury LNG would load fracked gas onto barges to supply ships in English Bay and tankers bound for Asia. It has been opposed by the cities of Richmond, Burnaby, Port Moody, New Westminster and Vancouver in part because it violates Metro Vancouver’s air quality goals. Hundreds of residents of Richmond and Delta have spoken out against the project.

“Clearly, the provincial government saw the opposition from local residents and communities during the hottest year on record and after the worst wildfire season in B.C. history and decided to side with the fossil fuel industry anyway,” said Climate Campaigner Peter McCartney. “When gas companies are lobbying them three times a day, I’m starting to question whether the government is even capable of saying no to them.”

FortisBC alone lobbied the provincial government 19 times in the first two months of 2024. Recently, the independent BC Utilities Commission rejected FortisBC’s LNG plans at Tilbury because they were not found to be in the public interest. David Eby, in his first speech as incoming premier, appeared to agree, saying “We cannot continue to expand fossil-fuel infrastructure and hit our climate goals.” 

“What does it say about the power the fossil fuel industry has over our democracy if politicians can clearly state opposition to new LNG projects and then turn around to approve an enormous expansion of fracking once they’re in office?” asked McCartney. 

British Columbians are likely to pay the price for the provincial government’s decision to approve the project on their utility bills. In the U.S. and Australia, LNG exports have led to rising domestic prices for gas. Tilbury LNG would also receive electricity for below cost from BC Hydro so ratepayers would ultimately subsidize the project.

“Building Tilbury LNG will only worsen the cost of living crisis and the climate emergency for the benefit of a handful of fracking companies and FortisBC,” said McCartney. “Today, the BC NDP chose the fossil fuel industry over average ratepayers who are already feeling the squeeze of high utility bills and everyone who is now paying the costs of climate disasters.”


Media contact:

Peter McCartney | Climate Campaigner 

778-239-1935, peter@wildernesscommittee.org


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