B.C. LNG industry to be powered by clean electricity, government says
The provincial and federal governments have announced a plan to power B.C.'s liquefied natural gas industry with clean hydroelectricity, rather than fuel.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the move to "electrify" the LNG industry will help bring the province closer to meeting its climate change targets, and position Canada as a supplier of the world's cleanest natural gas.
"Our homes and businesses need power and it's up to us to make sure we're producing it responsibly," Trudeau told reporters.
The Prime Minister's Office said the move is expected to offset two million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – a benefit that environmental groups argued is far outweighed by the climate impacts of B.C.'s LNG industry.
“Electrification of fracking and LNG is not effective climate action. It’s the opposite: it locks us into ongoing carbon pollution that will worsen the climate emergency, at a time when we have very few years to rapidly phase out the use of coal, oil and gas," Caitlyn Vernon of Sierra Club BC said in a statement.
Vernon said Sierra Club supports the province's ongoing electrification efforts through its CleanBC program, but only when it serves to "transition us away from the use and export of fossil fuels."
B.C.'s natural gas industry currently produces almost one-fifth of the province's greenhouse gas emissions, according to the government. Premier John Horgan, who appeared with Trudeau at Thursday's event, said the electrification plan will "reduce and abate" some of those negative effects.
Environmentalists have also expressed serious concerns about the industry's expansion, particularly after LNG Canada announced its massive $50 billion investment last year.
Sierra Club BC has cautioned that LNG Canada's planned Kitimat project would "consume the vast majority of B.C.'s remaining annual carbon pollution budget" by the year 2050.