Suzuki Foundation and Sierra Club slam Premier John Horgan's LNG announcement

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      Two prominent B.C.-based environmental groups have replied to B.C. Premier John Horgan's announcement today (March 22) of tax and other financial incentives for LNG producers.

      The Sierra Club B.C. issued a release claiming that new LNG developments in B.C.—such as the mammoth $40-billion proposed Kitimat project by the Shell Canada-backed LNG Canada and several other investors—will "spell disaster" for the climate.

      Jens Wieting, the group's senior forest and climate campaigner, said in the release: “Today’s announcement is a new form of climate denial: the idea that we can build new fossil fuel projects that will cause millions of tonnes of additional emissions while reducing our emissions at the same time. By sweetening the pot for fracked gas export, the government is laying out a red carpet for investors to help destroy our climate.

      “We are hugely disappointed to see the BC government courting an industry that so clearly spells disaster for our climate. LNG development would add fuel to the wildfires that have devastated BC in recent years. Forests are burning, coral reefs are dying, and glaciers are melting, but somehow our government believes they can have their cake and eat it too.

      “It’s not possible to expand fracking and LNG export and meet BC’s climate targets. It’s time for this government to recognize that building new fossil fuel projects is incompatible with any meaningful climate action."

      The David Suzuki Foundation, meanwhile, released a statement that criticized the provincial NDP government for allowing LNG proponents to use fracked fuel to run their facilities and for ignoring the industry's "true carbon footprint".

      The foundation's science and policy director, Ian Bruce, cited damning reports about underreported "fugitive" methane emissions produced while fracking for LNG in condemning the incentives: “These underreported methane emissions from B.C.’s oil and gas companies are among the most serious greenhouse gas problems we face in Canada, especially as our government considers exporting liquefied natural gas," he said.

      The foundation's statement continued: "The study published last year by the David Suzuki Foundation and St. Francis Xavier University found that methane emissions from B.C.’s oil and gas industry are at least 2.5 times higher than industry and government report. Environmental Defense Fund research released today also shows that the oil and gas industry in Alberta is vastly underreporting methane emissions."

      John Werring, a Suzuki senior advisor and one of the foundation study's authors, added this: “Our research shows fossil fuel extraction in B.C.’s Montney region alone is intentionally releasing approximately 111,800 tonnes of methane into the air annually. This is the climate pollution equivalent of burning more than 4.5 million tonnes of coal, or putting more than two million cars on the road. It challenges claims that B.C. LNG is a ‘clean’ or useful ‘transition’ fuel.”