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LETTER: Another perspective on Woodfibre’s promises

Dear Editor, Woodfibre LNG has spoken, but again it seems to be seriously out of touch with reality.

Dear Editor,

Woodfibre LNG has spoken, but again it seems to be seriously out of touch with reality.

The economic reality is that LNG prices are at an all-time low due to a global glut in LNG as well as stiff competition of the fast and vast build-up of renewable energy projects around the world. 

This competition will only grow. China is investing US$360 billion renewable energy in the next three years! 

Last week, we heard a promise of jobs from Woodfibre. Here in Atl’Kitsem/Howe Sound, we have no use for jobs that will negatively impact our currently thriving tourism industry.

What we want are jobs that support a healthy and clean future for our children, not jobs that are tied to the fossil fuel and fracking industry. 

The (natural) gas fracking industry uses and contaminates vast amounts of our greatest resource: fresh water. And, it has been calculated that by the time B.C.’s supposed “clean LNG” gets to its point of use in Asia, it will contributes 27% more in Green House Gas emissions than the burning of coal in China. (Source: B.C. LNG: Myths and realities, J.D. Hughes, Feb 19 2016)

Although the Woodfibre LNG oracle is exclaiming ‘It’s a go!’, the political reality is that: 

- the Squamish Nation doesn’t think ‘It’s a go’ with the Nation’s Environmental Assessment for the project not yet concluded

- more than 10,000 people have signed the Howe Sound Declaration calling on provincial and federal governments to reject the Woodfibre LNG project 

- all Atl’Kitsem / Howe Sound municipalities have spoken out against the project.

In terms of safety, Transport Canada still hasn’t started its LNG tanker safety review. 

And last but not least, Woodfibre LNG states in its letter of January 6, 2017, that its intentions were clear regarding a possible extension of the project from 25 to 40 years: it was in section 2.2.7 of their environmental assessment application. Indeed it says so, but it also says ‘[the] Decommission Phase [of the project is to start in] 2042.’ Yet the Application’s Executive Summary leaves little doubt: ‘The LNG plant design life is 25 years:...’(page 1). 

But clearest is the glossy Woodfibre LNG brochure distributed to Howe Sound households in early 2015: ‘The Woodfibre LNG project is licensed to export approximately 2.1 million tonnes of LNG each year for 25 years.’ 

Again it leaves us wondering: How can Woodfibre LNG ever become a good neighbour when we constantly have to guess what its intentions are? 

On behalf of Concerned Citizens Bowen

Anton van Walraven