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.

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.

 

Just Posted

Sooke’s ‘Stonehenge’ gets a rocky reception

Structure intended to accommodate memorial plaques

Sooke district under fire for zoning debacle

Saseenos Veterinary Clinic may have to pay twice for rezoning

GoodLife marathon helps enrich lives, share stories

Seniors’ care one of many causes supported by GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Colwood square dancing open house to welcome in new dancers

“It’s therapy,” said long-time square dancer Linda Townsend

Green candidate expects a tight race in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke

David Merner says Green Party would act as “strong moral conscience” in a minority Parliament

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Most Read