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The LNG Opportunity in BC: Separating Rhetoric from Reality -- Part II

In Part I of this two-part series, we reviewed the main economic critiques of LNG development in British Columbia, concluding that while there are risks and economic uncertainties with respect to LNG in the province, the critics are largely off base with their professed economic concerns.  Here in Part II, we address the more analytically challenging environmental issues that have been identified by various commentators who doubt the benefits of LNG.

 Environmental Consideration

The environmental critiques of LNG in British Columbia centre largely around two clusters of issues:

  1. Greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of LNG development on the province’s climate change policies and initiatives; and
  2. The upstream impacts of natural gas development, most notably the use of water in the extraction process.

While there are other environmental issues, such as those around ambient emissions from LNG terminals, we have not placed the same emphasis on these because the LNG critics aren’t focussed on them and the relevant issues are the same as with any large industrial plant development. How to manage these localized environmental effects is well known for the most part – hazardous materials management, wastewater, noise, ambient air quality regulation, near-shore aquatic and marine issues related to construction and ongoing operations. 

Download full report here