Time to slow down the natural gas express

Government leadership in pipeline frenzy is missing

Dear Sir:

The Terrace Standard reported on October 17 that Coastal Gas Link Pipeline Ltd. wants to build a natural gas pipeline from the Dawson Creek area to an LNG facility in Kitimat. The fourth LNG plant announced for Kitimat.

A week earlier another company announced it wanted to build an LNG plant in Prince Rupert with its natural gas pipeline being located in the Nass Valley. This is a second LNG plant proposed for Prince Rupert.

Pacific Trails Pipelines Ltd. has received a permit to construct a natural gas pipeline from Summit Lake to an LNG plant at Bish Cove. Three (or more) new natural gas pipelines plus the existing PNG line could end their lines in Kitimat. Three would traverse the Morice River Watershed and snake their way through the Burnie Pass, than along the Kitimat River to Kitimat. If the Enbridge oil and condensate pipelines are approved that would add two more lines along that route.

The existing PNG line follows the Telkwa River through to the Zymoetz River and onto Terrace and where it branch’s off to Kitimat and Prince Rupert.

Much wild and pristine land will be chewed up and thousands of streams will be crossed. The mountainous terrain and narrow river valleys, highways and other development leaves little room for pipelines forcing them to be in close proximity to each other.

The Northern Branch of the Steelhead Society is questioning the lack of planning by the provincial government. A stampede of investment and development has been created that threatens the world renowned river recreational fishery that bases its bounty and international status upon the health of the Skeena River, the second largest salmon producing river in BC.

No one from government talks about these special sport fisheries or appears to care if “they” and the largest population of wild steelhead in North America and possibly the world are going to be affected in a negative way.

We are not opposed to the construction of LNG plants but why so many within such a short time frame, with so many implications? The plants will use a vast amount of electrical energy. The total electrical output from the yet approved Site C Dam on the Peace River could be consumed by the LNG production in Kitimat. Is this a wise use of electrical power?

The future supply of natural gas for Canadians, the second coldest country on earth is going to be compromised. This gas will be required for home and business heating 50 and 100 years from now? Has any thought been given how long the gas will last as result of the export to Asian countries?

Strange that few years ago there was a shortage of this cleanest fossil fuel now there is a huge surplus. Has the controversial use of hydraulic fracturing tapping the so called vast underground layers of gas turned the tables?

Many more questions should be asked. Natural gas is a finite resource that someday will be totally consumed. Would a more conservative approach make more sense, rather than trying to sell vast quantities as quickly as possible?

It time to talk about the fragmentation of narrow river valleys and the environmental impact. The provincial government must take a leadership role and limit the level of activity and frenzy and begin an open public discussion on the repercussions and benefits of exploiting the sale of natural gas.

Randy Dozzi and Jim Culp, Terrace, BC

(Editor’s note: Randy Dozzi is the chair and Jim Culp a director for the northern branch of the Steelhead Society of BC.)

 

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