Friday, September 20, 2013
Weaver Slams Christy Clark's Gassy Pipedream
Green Party MLA and professor, Andrew Weaver, says B.C. premier Christy Clark's vision of a future economy padded by immense wealth from liquified natural gas exports is a fantasy.
“I think talk of B.C. becoming a major LNG exporter is nothing more than a pipe dream,” said Weaver, a climate-change expert and B.C.’s only Green MLA.
Weaver said there is no way the province can meet legislated greenhouse-gas emission targets if it continues to develop the LNG option.
“The numbers just don’t add up. The greenhouse-gas emissions associated with LNG development are simply too high to allow us to meet our legislated targets,” he said. “Canada has less than one per cent of the world’s proven natural gas reserves. Russia has 20 times as much natural gas as all of Canada combined, and they’ve recently signed long-term export agreements with China. Russia transports its gas to China by pipes. It doesn’t require the costly process of liquefying it and tanker traffic across the ocean.”
“The U.S. already has the necessary infrastructure in place on their coastline to facilitate the relatively quick development of their LNG export industry and China could well be soon positioned to take advantage of its own natural gas reserves, which are three times the size of all of Canada’s — not just B.C.’s alone.”
Weaver is not merely a voice of reason, he's a long overdue voice of sanity. Even though a recent EPA report concludes that natural gas fracking, if appropriate safeguards are taken, can produce energy at half the emissions of coal, that's still a big "if" especially as it doesn't include problems such as pipelines crossing mountainous terrain and long-haul supertanker traffic. And, at the end of the day, if everything is done just right and LNG is processed and transported so that it's cleaner than coal, it's still taking safely sequestered fossil fuel from the depths and putting it into the atmosphere. We simply can't meet our very mildly ambitious emissions reduction targets if we keep pumping fossil fuels out of the ground. Can't be done and it won't be done.