Emission limits set for B.C. LNG producers

Gas exporters will be able to buy carbon offsets or pay into "technology fund" if they go over greenhouse gas limits

LNG tanker carrying cooled and compressed natural gas.

LNG tanker carrying cooled and compressed natural gas.

VICTORIA – The B.C. government has set environmental rules aimed at making good on its promise to export the world’s “cleanest” liquefied natural gas.

Environment Minister Mary Polak introduced legislation Monday to set limits for greenhouse gas and conventional air pollution. It includes an option for LNG producers to buy carbon offsets or contribute to a “technology fund” if their operations exceed greenhouse gas limits.

Polak said the system will permit LNG development without exceeding the government’s greenhouse gas target of a 33 per cent reduction by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. New air quality rules are also being established for nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide emissions, based on a review of air quality in the Kitimat area.

The “benchmark” for greenhouse gas emissions is an average 0.16 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per tonne of LNG produced, which the government says is lower than the lowest-emitting LNG facilities in the U.S., Australia and Norway. Companies that exceed the benchmark will pay penalties on a sliding scale, and those that perform better will receive a carbon offset credit they can sell.

NDP environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert said the technology fund idea appears to be borrowed from Alberta, where a similar fund hasn’t stopped greenhouse gas emissions from rising.

“I don’t know how we can meet our greenhouse gas reductions if we get five or seven LNG plants that the premier seems to suggest are coming, despite evidence to the contrary,” Chandra Herbert said.

Polak said the technology fund will be developed in consultation with industry. Carbon offsets will be used to pay for projects in B.C. such as lower-emission transportation and buildings, and there is no plan to count emissions reductions from Asian users who use LNG to reduce coal use, she said.

Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver said the sliding scale for excess emissions means that taxpayers will be paying part of the penalties. He predicts that B.C. will never compete in the LNG industry, given growing international production of conventional and shale gas. But if it does, the province will not achieve reductions in emissions.

“This isn’t going to fool anybody,” Weaver said. “It’s attempting to look like the government still has a plan for greenhouse gas reductions.”

The emission rules will apply to LNG processing only, not pollution and greenhouse gases from production and processing of natural gas in northeastern B.C.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Cleanup happens after an overnight flood Monday damaged areas of the Oaklands Community Centre. (Facebook/Oaklands Community Association)
Greater Victorians offer flood of support to Oaklands Community Centre

Blown hot water tank Monday night leaves staff cleaning up soggy mess

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read