All the scientific evidence shows that building liquefied fracked gas plants—what the industry brands as “natural” gas—will spread a destructive web of pipelines, plants, fracking sites, compressor stations, and work camps across British Columbia.
Consider the proposal by Malaysian multinational Petronas to build a plant near Prince Rupert. It would threaten to wipe out Canada’s second largest salmon run, would be disastrous for our climate, and would trample over First Nations opposition.
Located at the mouth of the Skeena River, this plant would be catastrophic for Canada’s second largest salmon run. Up to a billion juvenile salmon depend on the eel grass beds of Flora Bank as they migrate from the freshwater of the Skeena to the salt water of the Pacific. Destroying this critical habitat would mean the end of the salmon and the thousands of northern jobs that depend on the $110 million wild salmon economy.
B.C.’s official greenhouse gas emissions total 64 million tonnes per year. The Petronas liquefied fracked gas plant would be a carbon bomb, responsible for an astonishing 265 million tonnes per year. One plant: five times the emissions from every vehicle, building, and factory in B.C.! It would make it impossible for B.C. to meet its current (inadequate) emissions targets.
Now think about the impact if five of the 20 proposed plants were built.
Other environmental impacts from an expanded industry include groundwater contamination, forest fragmentation, fracking-induced earthquakes, and increased marine traffic.
And let’s not forget that these plants are built to operate for 30, 40 or 50 years. With the Paris climate agreements, the world will increasingly turn its back on fossil fuels. As former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney has pointed out, fossil fuel deposits such as methane and the tarsands threaten to become stranded assets and the massive infrastructure investments needed to get them to market become worthless relics, taking jobs and potentially whole communities with them.
These plants are simply bad economics. British Columbia should be putting its resources toward renewable energy and transitioning to a post-carbon economy.
Any day now Prime Minister Trudeau will decide whether to approve or reject the Petronas proposal. It’s his watershed moment and the first big test of the climate promises that helped get him elected.
There’s still time to influence his decision. Sign the petition demanding that he say no to Petronas, and yes to wild salmon, sustainable jobs, respect for First Nations and a livable climate.