NDP Offers Tax Breaks, Subsidies to Attract B.C.’s Single Largest Carbon Polluter: LNG Canada
DeSmog Canada | Carol Linnitt | March 22 2018
The B.C. government unveiled a new natural gas development plan Thursday in an attempt to trigger a final investment deal with LNG Canada, the proponents of B.C.’s largest proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal, located in Kitimat.
The NDP’s new framework offers LNG Canada and other companies tax reprieves and exemptions and a cheaper electricity rate than the previous B.C. Liberal government extended to the industry. The government is also offering a carbon tax break to LNG companies if their facilities can meet the “cleanest” operating standards in the world.
In a press briefing Premier John Horgan claimed the new plan carves a way for the province to develop a $40 billion LNG facility and still meet climate targets and obligations to Indigenous peoples. LNG Canada’s own estimates say $25 to $40 billion for a “four-train project” while today’s announcement only considers a two-train first phase of the project (‘trains” refers to natural gas processing units).
However, the province has yet to release a climate plan that demonstrates what steps would be taken to counter significant greenhouse gas emissions from the LNG Canada facility — representing 10 per cent of B.C.’s 2050 emissions target, according to the government.
Exporting liquefied natural gas involves fracking for gas in B.C.’s northeast, shipping that gas via pipelines to the coast and then cooling the gas via massive compressors to -162 degrees Celsius, the point at which gas turns into liquid and becomes easier to transport via tanker. LNG Canada would burn its own natural gas for the energy-intensive compression process, resulting in enormous greenhouse gas pollution. (B.C. doesn’t allow the burning of natural gas to create electricity because of these emissions.)
The government said LNG Canada will emit four megatonnes of carbon emissions each year — the equivalent of adding 856,531 cars to the road.
The Pembina Institute, however, has pointed out that when both phases of the project are built the LNG Canada project would emit 8.6 megatonnes of carbon per year in 2030, rising to 9.6 megatonnes in 2050. The government’s emissions estimate only includes the first phase of the project, although its investment figure of $40 billion is for all project phases.