What a year it has been! At the beginning of 2015, few, including myself, were familiar with Woodfibre LNG’s proposed facility for Howe Sound. A very different situation from where we are today.
The last couple of weeks have been interesting for the campaign.
At the local front, we went before Bowen Municipal Council and a motion was adopted. A letter was sent out to the Federal Minister of Environment, requesting a delay in the decision on the Environmental Assessment certificate for Woodfibre LNG and provide time for a thorough review of the certificate process and decision. On initiative of My Sea To Sky, Vancouver Municipal Council sent out a similar request last week. Lions Bay and Squamish Municipal councils are approached to be next in line.
Globally, the Paris climate agreement will have consequences for BC’s LNG plans. The leaking of methane from the fracking wells, the cooling of methane into LNG using large amounts of energy and the CO2 emission when BC methane is burned by the end-users, all add up and will make it impossible for BC to meet its Green House Gas reduction goals. On top of that, markets for LNG remain low, which keeps working in our favour. Woodfibre LNG is now talking about cutting costs on the project. Make no mistake here. Even if the price of LNG were to go up, beside their urgent need, renewable energy sources would get that extra economic edge to make them even more interesting.
Last week also brought some very good news for Howe Sound. The possibility of garbage waste incinerators at Port Melon is not a possibility anymore. As you might have heard, the ‘waste’ recycling programs in Metro Vancouver are so successful that the need for burning garbage has evaporated.
One down, two more to go! The proposal for the McNab creek gravel mine is stuck in pre-application and, in regards to Woodfibre LNG and the Howe Sound recovery, we will come out with new findings very soon.
Hopefully 2016 will be a year in which we will be heading towards the protection of Howe Sound!