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

Rockslide damages vehicles on Highway 3 west of Hedley

A significant rockslide has occurred just west of Hedley on Highway 3.

Canada Post employee stops scam

A resident was saved by a sharp Canada Post employee in the Lower Similkameen.

Region hires two new fire chiefs

New fire chiefs come with experience and ties to community.

Cawston Players take on Wizard of Oz

The Cawston Players Christmas Show is in rehearsal and appears onstage December 8, 9 and 10.

Fill a Stocking campaign underway for Toys for Tots to Teens

Stockings are being distrubuted to Penticton businesses

One person sent to hospital after fire near Keremeos

Fire ripped through a shed and Winnebego at Sunkatchers RV Park Co-operative

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Stay safe on B.C. roads this holiday season

RCMP warn drivers to plan a safe ride home or suffer the consequences this holiday season

Trudeau apologizes to excluded residential school students

PM makes statement to former students in Nfld who were left out of previous compensation, apology

Four years for discharging shotgun in home, school break-in

Yvon Martel also threatened his wife and broke into an elementary school

Traci Genereaux: Gone, but not forgotten

COLUMN: Family, friends want justice for Vernon teen

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

Most Read