Is there a pattern emerging in the federal government’s leanings regarding controversial energy projects? After its approval of the Site C dam in B.C. in August 2016, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced, late on the evening of September 27, approval with 190 conditions for the Pacific North West LNG project, to be built near Lelu Island, north of Prince Rupert, B.C. . See the Government of Canada press release and the full text of the Decision Statement, including conditions, released by Canada Environment Assessment Agency. For summaries, read the the Globe and Mail (Sept. 28) or the Vancouver Province (Sept. 28) or the National Observer . CBC offers a brief analysis at “Trudeau government at pains to explain Pacific West LNG” at the CBC.
More reaction is sure to pour in as environmentalists analyse the Decision and conditions, but an article in The Tyee (Sept. 28) summarizes initial reactions by major environmental groups. The Pembina Institute’s Matt Horne been writing about the climate change implications for a long time, as recently September 27 in IRPP’s Policy Options, “Cabinet should not allow BC’s and Petronas’ mistakes in Pacific NorthWest to be locked in for the next 30-plus years”. For Pembina’s initial reaction, plus links to many earlier critiques, see “Pacific NorthWest LNG approval is step backward for climate action in Canada” .
B.C. also awaits a federal decision about the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C., due in mid-December.