Despite the potential for creating local prosperity while contributing to global emission reduction efforts, discussions about British Columbia’s LNG export facilities are often clouded by misconceptions intentionally created by anti-Canadian energy opponents.
At Canada Action, our mission is to explore these myths and provide evidence-based insights that nurture balanced and factual discussions about our world-class natural resource sectors, highlighting why the world needs more Canadian energy, food, lumber and minerals – not less.
Here are the top three myths surrounding LNG projects in British Columbia constantly repeated by anti-LNG activists, along with answers as to why these myths don’t hold any weight. Also see:
- 11 Quotes by First Nations Leaders in Support of BC LNG
- DEBATE: Divestment from Oil & Gas in Canada
- Top 5 Reasons to Say ‘Yes’ to B.C. LNG Exports
Myth #1: B.C. LNG export facilities will have a catastrophic impact on the climate
Fact: The use of natural gas helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally by substituting for more intensive forms of power and heat generation. As a low-carbon energy source, Canadian LNG exports will aid in the global transition to less carbon-intensive energy, as it replaces coal-fired power plants in Asian countries and others around the world.
For example, when LNG replaces coal in electricity production, it emits approximately 50% less carbon dioxide (CO2) 1. LNG has a lower overall greenhouse gas emission profile when compared to coal, primarily due to its increased efficiency during combustion and lower methane release.
It is crucial to address greenhouse gas emissions in the fight against climate change; therefore, we must consider the positive and transformative roles that LNG export facilities can play in reducing emissions while transitioning the world toward a cleaner energy future.
Canada will have the lowest-emissions liquified natural gas exports on the planet, something that we should be celebrating.
Myth #2: LNG facilities pose a high risk to marine life and coastal environments
Fact: B.C. LNG projects are subject to world-class environmental permitting processes and regulations. The Environmental Assessment Office for British Columbia (EAO) oversees comprehensive environmental assessments for major infrastructure projects, including LNG facilities. The EAO’s assessments evaluate potential impacts on ecosystems, marine life and local communities, while also considering proposed mitigation measures 3.
B.C. LNG facilities utilize cutting-edge technology to mitigate potential negative impacts on marine life, such as implementing robust measures to minimize noise pollution and developing advanced spill response capabilities 4. Additionally, the province’s Oil and Gas Waste Regulation governs waste management for federal facilities involved in LNG export, ensuring that discharges to the environment (if any) are controlled and responsibly managed 5.
Both federal and provincial governments have implemented strict regulations and permitting processes for B.C. LNG projects to follow to minimize disruptions to marine life and the surrounding ecosystem. By employing advanced technology and expertise, the LNG industry can help address global energy demands while protecting British Columbia's unique and vital marine ecosystems.
Myth #3: The construction of LNG facilities will lead to an increase in tanker traffic, affecting tourism and related industries in British Columbia
Fact: While there might be more LNG ship traffic, the impact of LNG facilities should be minimal and not affect tourism or other related industries in British Columbia.
The development and operation of LNG facilities in British Columbia require rigorous environmental assessments under provincial and federal laws to identify and address potential ecological and social impacts, such as those associated with noise and tanker traffic 3.
Canada’s Impact Assessment Agency (IAA) and the BCEAO are responsible for the environmental oversight and approval of LNG export projects. Multiple facilities, including the LNG Canada project in Kitimat, have gone through these rigorous assessments 6.
Future LNG shipping routes off Canada’s coastline(s) are to be carefully controlled and monitored to minimize risks to marine life and coastal communities. For instance, the use of escort tugs, local pilots, and mandatory navigational routes follow world-class practices for LNG shipping 7.
Strict safety protocols, extensive environmental assessments, and continued focus on sustainable shipping practices ensure that risks with the development of new LNG export facilities are mitigated and that British Columbia's unique coastal environment remains protected.
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1. Government of Canada. (n.d.). Natural gas facts. Natural Resources Canada. https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/science-data/data-analysis/energy-data-analysis/energy-facts/natural-gas-facts/20067
2. B.C. Reg. 55/2020. (2020, March 4). Liquefied Natural Gas Facility Regulation. Order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council No. 55. https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/56_2020
3. British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office. (n.d.). Environmental Assessment of LNG Projects. British Columbia Government. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/environmental-assessments
4. B.C. LNG Environmental Policy. (n.d.). [No URL available for this source; it might be a to several policies, regulations, and guidelines].
5. B.C. Oil and Gas Waste Regulation. (2017, March 9). British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. https://www.bcogc.ca/files/reports/Crown_Instruction-Oil-Gas-Waste-Regulation.pdf
6. B.C. Premier John Horgan tours the site of the LNG Canada project. (n.d.). [No URL available for this specific source; it might be a reference to a news article or press release].
7. Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. (n.d.). Liquefied natural gas. https://www.portvancouver.com/about-us/what-we/liqueaturalas-vessels/
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