BC government’s approval of Woodfibre LNG fails to address major environmental impacts

Monday, October 26, 2015 (All day)

News Release

LNG facility could have serious impacts on Howe Sound fisheries and the global climate

VANCOUVER –  The Wilderness Committee is dismayed to learn that BC’s Environment Minister, Mary Polak and Natural Gas Minister Rich Coleman have today announced the approval of the proposed Woodfibre Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project near Squamish in Howe Sound.

The project ties British Columbians to another 25 years of fossil fuel production, at a time when the reality of climate change is causing societies to move toward renewable energy.

“Approving this project pushes BC further down the wrong path,” said Eoin Madden, Climate Campaigner with the Wilderness Committee. “We are hitching our wagon to fossil fuels right when societies are beginning to embrace solar and wind energy.”

The environmental and climate impacts of proposed LNG plants like Woodfibre are exacerbated by the fact that approximately 90 per cent of the gas needed to produce BC’s LNG will come from fracking – a hazardous extraction method that pollutes freshwater and sends large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

In addition to the emissions associated with this project and the LNG industry, the Woodfibre LNG plant will draw 17,000 cubic metres of seawater from Howe Sound every hour to supply its cooling system, and return it to the sound in a much hotter and chlorinated form. Jurisdictions such as California have banned this practice due to its impact on the marine environment.

“When it comes to marine life recovery, Howe Sound is a success story,” said Madden, “We need to stand back and really examine what those volumes of heated water and chlorine will mean for herring and other wildlife. If California has banned this process, why are we green-lighting it in BC?”

Local opposition to Woodfibre LNG in Squamish is strong and continues to grow. The Wilderness Committee will continue to join citizens and other allies in efforts to stop this project and push the BC government to shift its priorities to developing cleaner, climate-friendly energy solutions.

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For more information, please contact:

Eoin Madden | Climate Campaigner, Wilderness Committee
(604) 353-9603, eoin@wildernesscommittee.org

 


Photo: The Woodfibre LNG project is proposed near Squamish, BC along the shores of Howe Sound. (McKay Savage via Flickr)