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    BC’s Woodfibre LNG Faces Another Potential Hurdle


Local government seeks alignment with UN environmental targets

by: Dale Lunan

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BC’s Woodfibre LNG Faces Another Potential Hurdle

The Woodfibre LNG project in BC, a 2.1mn mt/yr facility near Squamish, north of Vancouver, is facing another potential hurdle after the District of Squamish introduced a resolution May 12 asking that a provincial regulator require that the company align its project with UN greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has set a target to reduce GHGs by 45% by 2030 and to reach net-zero by 2030.

At least some of the district’s councillors feel Woodfibre LNG, owned by Singapore’s Pacific Oil & Gas, should be held to that standard, and in a 4-3 vote passed a motion that would provide feedback to that extent to BC’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) as it considers a five-year extension to Woodfibre’s environmental certificate, which expires in October.

The EAO has asked for comments on Woodfibre’s March 2020 extension application, and while the District of Squamish is one entity with standing to provide comments, the decision on an extension rests entirely with the EAO.

The resolution isn’t yet final: the first vote was made during a committee of the whole meeting. The matter will have to undergo a final vote at a special business meeting of council, expected in the near future.

David Keane, Woodfibre LNG’s CEO, said he was “surprised and as disappointed” to read of the resolution and said the company had consistently gone “above and beyond” to engage with the district and its residents.

“We all agree that climate change is an urgent global issue,” Keane said in a statement. “That’s why we committed early on to reduce our emissions by 85% by using renewable electricity.”

Keane added that Woodfibre had received new data on its climate change impact, and promised to “soon” share that data with the public.

“One figure we have learned is that the annual emissions offsets that will be achieved when our gas replaces coal in Asia will be equivalent to 76 years of Squamish’s emissions,” he said.

The EAO is expected to rule on the extension application by the end of the summer, but has not yet committed to a date.