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B.C. Regulator Takes Global View of GHG Emissions from Kitimat LNG Project

青空白帆/Wikimedia Commons

An upcoming public consultation will focus at least in part on the greenhouse gas impact of Chevron Corporation’s Kitimat LNG project, after the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) prevailed on the California-based colossal fossil to assess the project’s climate footprint from a regional and global perspective.

“Environmental groups say it is crucial for British Columbia to reduce GHG emissions within the province’s boundaries,” the Globe and Mail reports [1]. “Supporters of B.C.’s fledgling LNG industry say exports of the fuel would displace coal at power plants in Asia and therefore help reduce air pollution overseas.”

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The regulator’s October 7 filing takes the more expansive view, specifying that “spatial boundaries will not be defined, as GHG and climate change are, by nature, both regional and global”.

Along with its Australian-based partner, Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Chevron is planning to power the Kitimat LNG project with hydro-generated electricity, rather than natural gas turbines. On that basis, the project “will be one of the lowest GHG emitters of its type,” the consortium said in a July filing. “An electric-drive concept also means that significant increases to liquefaction capacity can be achieved with a negligible increase in GHG emissions.”The Globe and Mail says the EAO’s emphasis on carbon emissions, along with a range of economic, social, and health issues and Indigenous consultation, was driven by the new federal Impact Assessment Act, which took effect in August. “New reviews must place a greater emphasis than in the past on factors such as social impacts, Indigenous rights, and whether a project is consistent with Canada’s commitments to battle climate change,” the Globe states.