VANCOUVER — The B.C. government’s announcement that it will provide tax breaks for liquefied natural gas projects, like the LNG Canada project in Kitimat, overlooks the industry’s true carbon footprint.
Peer-reviewed research from the David Suzuki Foundation confirms that fugitive methane emissions from B.C.’s oil and gas industry — emitted during fracking for LNG — continue to be vastly underreported by government and industry. The B.C. government is also letting projects such as LNG Canada off the hook by allowing them to use fracked gas to power their LNG terminals instead of clean electricity.
“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,” said Foundation science and policy director Ian Bruce.
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.
“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,” said John Werring, Foundation senior science and policy advisor and co-author of the study. “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.”
The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and the Pembina Institute estimate that annual carbon dioxide emissions from the LNG Canada project alone would exceed 9.6 megatonnes by 2050 — or 80 per cent of B.C.’s total emissions target of 12 megatonnes annually by 2050.
Last summer in the 2017 confidence and supply agreement, the B.C. government promised to apply the carbon tax to methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, the province’s largest polluter.
“B.C. can achieve climate commitments and have a thriving economy,” Bruce said. “In a modern global economy that is shifting to renewable energy, B.C. should seize the opportunity to modernize its economy with clean, profitable renewable energy projects instead of tying the province’s future to the shrinking global market for fossil fuels.”
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