Natural gas exports from B.C. 'critical to economy': Oliver

Canada's Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver.

Credits: REUTERS


OTTAWA - Just as Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver hails liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from British Columbia as "critical for jobs and the economy," environmental activists are ramping up their opposition.

Oliver was in Vancouver on Monday to talk up the Feb. 4 decision to grant an export licence to LNG Canada Development Inc. to export liquefied natural gas from the terminal proposed by the Shell consortium in Kitimat on B.C.'s north coast.

"Of course, the logical place to look for new markets for natural gas for British Columbia and Western Canada is across the Pacific," Oliver said.

Pending environmental approvals, the Shell consortium with Japanese, Korean and Chinese partners aims to have a 700-km pipeline built across B.C. to take natural gas to an LNG terminal and Asia-bound tankers by the end of the decade.

Oliver said if all five proposed LNG projects go forward in B.C., they "could generate more than $1 trillion in economic activity over the next 30 years."

The David Suzuki Foundation reacted via Twitter, claiming the LNG industry is "bad news for our environment."

Similar to its campaigning against the oilsands, the activist group claims on its website that B.C. natural gas exports would cause too much carbon dioxide emission and pollution as it's extracted from shale deposits an transported to Asia.

So now, the David Suzuki Foundation wants to slam the brakes on the industry and said on its website, "we will never achieve our greenhouse gas reduction goals if we start exporting liquid natural gas."

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