Coastal GasLink Under Construction - CGL
Why should you support the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline project? For starters, the project will supply natural gas to the lowest GHG-intensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in the world, not to mention it is also huge economic boon for both B.C. and Canada and has the support of all elected First Nations councils along its route.
What other reasons should we support this new pipeline in British Columbia? With natural gas demand projected to grow substantially through to 2040, it only makes sense that Canada gets in the export game – and quick. We currently only have one customer for our natural gas (the United States), who has tapped into its own shale gas reserves over the past decade and no longer needs as much supply from us.
Maria van der Hoeven, Former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) described Canada’s current plight best on an ARC Energy Podcast in early 2020:
“It’s important that LNG Canada gets built because in a few years the United States, Canada’s only current customer, will become completely self-sufficient in gas. So, Canada must find new outlets for its natural gas.”
Without Coastal GasLink, there’s no feedstock supply for LNG Canada’s processing units, meaning there’s no export facility and no new markets for Canadian natural gas.
What is Coastal GasLink anyways, you might ask? Here’s what you need to know about the pipeline and why we think you should support CGL! Also see:
- Pipelines in Canada: What You Need to Know
- LNG Canada: 10 Frequently Asked Questions + Answers
- Canadian LNG Will Reduce CO2 Emissions in China: Study
What is Coastal GasLink?
Coastal GasLink Route - CGL
The Coastal GasLink (CGL) project is a provincially regulated pipeline spanning 670 kilometers from gas fields in northeastern B.C. to the LNG Canada processing plant in Kitimat on the West Coast.
LNG Canada is projected to be the least greenhouse gas (GHG) intensive facility of its kind in the world and will export responsibly produced Canadian LNG to Asian markets where it will displace coal-fired power generation and help reduce global CO2 emissions.
Chinese GHG Emissions
According to the 2020 UN Emissions Gap Report, China currently emits more than one-quarter of global GHG emissions which have climbed uncontrollably since 2005 with coal-fired power being the main cause.
Global GHG Emissions - Crippa et al. (2020)
According to the IEA, coal power generation was the single largest source of GHG emissions in the world - at 30 per cent in 2019.
China accounted for nearly half the world’s coal consumption with the fossil fuel encompassing approximately 58 per cent of China’s total energy consumption that same year.
Canadian LNG > Coal-Fired Generation
Increasing Canadian natural gas exports to China will undeniably result in a reduction of global GHG emissions. Proof of this is seen through work conducted by research groups from Stanford University, University of British Columbia and University of Calgary in which three independent life-cycle analyses concluded that Canadian LNG exported to China for use in power and heat generation - when compared with coal-fired generation - would result in a 34-62 per cent reduction of CO2 emissions per unit of electricity generated.
Pipeline detractors want to shutdown Coastal GasLink because they say that the Canadian natural gas being extracted, produced and exported will have a harmful effect on global emissions, but that’s just not true. If natural gas demand in Asia isn’t supplied by Canada, it will simply come from somewhere else – likely from a nation that has lower scores than we do on Environmental, Social and Governance metrics. That’s bad for Canada and the global environment.
Coastal GasLink & Indigenous Communities
Apart from reducing global emissions, the CGL pipeline has also been a major economic boon to both B.C. and Canada alike. As of October 2020, CGL had awarded $979 million in subcontracts to local B.C businesses, 85 per cent ($874 million) of which was to Indigenous-owned businesses.
CGL has also engaged in continued long-term partnerships with post-secondary institutions in northern B.C. to support the regional labour force and the development of transferable skills that offer recipients further opportunities in the oil and gas industry. This translates to CGL investing approximately $650,000 in skills training and pre-employment programs delivered by Indigenous training organizations in northern B.C.
In the past, many groups (like the the United Nations) have attempted to speak on behalf of the First Nations communities along the route of Coastal Gaslink. However, all 20 have had their elected band councils sign benefit agreements with CGL. These First Nations could not be any clearer in their support for the project which would bring immense economic benefits to their communities. Those involved include:
- Stellat’en First Nation
- Saik’uz First Nation
- McLeod Lake Indian Band
- Saulteau First Nations
- Kitselas First Nation
- West Moberly First Nations
- Lheidli T’enneh First Nation
- Nadleh Whut’en Indian Band
- Burns Lake Indian Band (Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation)
- Blueberry River First Nations
- Halfway River First Nation
- Doig River First Nation
- Wet’suwet’en First Nation
- Yekooche First Nation
- Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band
- Skin Tyee First Nation
- Witset First Nation
- Nak’azdli Whut’en
- Haisla Nation
To add, CGL has facilitated more than 26,000 engagements with Indigenous groups to listen to their concerns and insights into the land since the start of the project. CGL has also implemented a construction monitoring program that invites Indigenous communities to observe and report back to their communities on construction activities in their territory to allow for transparency and accountability.
Canada Needs New International Markets
Canada is currently the fourth largest producer and sixth largest exporter of natural gas in the world. Today, about 45 per cent of Canadian production is exported to the U.S., with declining export volumes seen relatively consistently over the past several years.
New drilling methods and technologies discovered in the late 2000s have helped companies in the U.S. tap into their own massive shale gas reserves, unleashing a flood of cheap, plentiful gas into domestic markets and decreasing the country's reliance on imports from Canada. For example, as seen in the chart above, natural gas pipeline imports from Canada to the U.S. dropped by more than 33 per cent between 2007 and 2020.
Reminiscent of the oil price discount, Canadian natural gas producers must find new markets to sell their natural gas in. Projects like LNG Canada and Coastal GasLink will make that a viable option for Canadian companies who are seeing their product continually squeezed out of markets south of the border.
The U.S. just happens to be the only current international market Canadian gas producers currently have access to which is why reaching new customers across the ocean is critical for the industry's overall health and longevity.
Join Us Today!
Ultimately, if you are in favour of stimulating the economy, providing global markets with sustainably produced energy and supporting our Indigenous communities, then you should be in support of Coastal GasLink.
Canadian government officials always talk about climate change in a global context. They should do the same for emissions and help reduce global GHGs by getting sustainable oil and gas projects built here in Canada which have the potential to displace more GHG-intensive sources of energy elsewhere in the world. After all, our nation is a leader on climate action and is one of the most ethical, transparent and environmentally responsible oil and gas producers on the planet.
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