With most of the focus in Kitimat on the Enbridge Pipeline, there has not been much opposition to the boatload of LNG terminals slated for Kitimat and the Northwest. Damien Gillis was in Kitimat as a part of his tour of Northwest British Columbia last week doing a presentation entitled, ‘LNG, What Does it Mean for Me?’
Both Murray Minchin of Douglas Channel Watch and Dana Hibbard of the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition spoke prior to Gillis.
Minchin, focused on Oil, and talked about how BC is not willing to risk its own oil development before moving on to how the JRP will make their decision in December. He stated the JRP was allowed to reject projects outright. However, Prime Minister Stephen Harper changed what they can do and now the JRP can only make a recommendation to the government.
“What he has done is he changed the rules, after Enbridge made its proposal by the way,” said Minchin. “He changed the rules such that Harper alone will be able to make the decision whether the Enbridge oil pipeline / tanker port proposal will be rammed down our throats. It used to be a democracy.”
He stated there will be a series of protests in November across Canada opposing this proposal.
Hibbard told everyone where they have been so far and a little about how the tour has been progressing. She explained a little of her history. She grew up in Alberta and missed a chunk of Grade one because Shell was drilling for sour gas and her family had to be removed from their home due to safety concerns.
“Now that I live in the Northwest, I didn’t anticipate having a conversation about oil and gas, but there is a very real buzz in the community where I live in and every community that Damian and I have passed through so far this week,” said Hibbard.
She stated the conversation on oil of gas is taking place around this region, in the coffee shops and laundry-matts before welcoming Gillis up to speak.
“I think it means a vastly exaggerated economic opportunity for BC with enormous tax payer subsidies which are being hidden. I think it means a five-fold increase potentially in Fracking in Northeast BC to supply these LNG pipelines,” said Gillis.
He stated for Kitimat, it would mean unknown air pollution, unknown health impacts and overblown job claims. It would mean more fracking in Northeast British Columbia to feed the industry, an increase in the carbon footprint for the province and: “A bogus economic vision which is not grounded in reality that is being sold to us by the government.”
During the presentation, he ran video statements from Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman made during the UBCM last September during a reception held by our Region. The minister made claims which were countered by the top independent shale gas expert, David Hughs.
“The minister made some bold claims, that we could fill 5 LNG plants to Asia for 84 years on top of our own needs and North American Customers and only use 34% of our known gas reserves,” said Gillis. “[Hughs] told me those claims were exaggerated by 4000%. Our government is operating in a fantasy land when it comes to how much gas we actually have and how viable the scheme of LNG plants really is.”
He explained that due to the physical realities of the Natural gas supplies, things like the job claims and the hundred billion dollar prosperity fund are not going to materialize.
Gillis told us he had great presentations throughout his trip presenting to Mayors, MLA’s and concerned residents from both the First Nations and local residents.
“There is clearly a lot of concern and a lack of information up until now and hopefully, we helped stimulate some thought, some critical discussion around this issue going forward which is badly needed,” said Gillis “We’ve all been focused on the threat of Enbridge over the last number of years and under the radar, this massive LNG industry and Fracking which is connected to it has crept up on us and it’s time we started paying attention to it because the real economic and environmental consequences of LNG and Fracking could far dwarf what we’ve seen from Enbridge.”
For further information about how the LNG Boom could be simply nothing more than a myth, check out the Common Sense Canadian online and their series of articles, LNG: Boom or Boondoggle.