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

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Sidney

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Sailors reunited with family for Christmas in Victoria

HMCS Nanaimo and HMCS Edmonton return following a two-month deployment

Victoria mother concerned by city’s potential straw ban

Carmell Nesbitt’s son has cerebral palsy and can only drink with plastic straws

Victoria breakfast icon is shutting its doors

Floyd’s Diner is closing its Quadra and Yates streets location

Our Place to serve 1,000 plates of Christmas lunch

Volunteers and staff have been working for days to prepare turkey, stuffing and fixings

Victoria Canadian Tire replaces toys stolen from Salvation Army

Children won’t have to go without toys this Christmas

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Vancouver Island

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Publication ban on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school lifted

Reimer’s family had supported an application by Black Press to lift ban

B.C. securities regulator probes ‘most expansive’ alleged trading scheme in its history

Liht Cannabis Corp states it’s doing internal investigation, welcomes BC Securities Commission probe

Air passenger rights: 6 things about what the Liberals are offering

For 3- to 6-hour delays, compensation is $400. Between 6 and 9 hours, $700. Over 9 hours is $1,000

Descoteau’s mother, girlfriend reflect on tribulations of murder trial in Island city

Friends a strong support system in getting through testimony details

RCMP, civilian vehicles rammed in North Okanagan incident

Police attempt to stop truck near Enderby, thought to be tied to alleged Salmon Arm armed robbery

New biker gang with ties to Hells Angels crops up in Lower Mainland

The Street Reapers were formed late last year and have been seen in Fort Langley.

10-lane George Massey bridge too big, B.C. study says

Consultants say replacement tunnel cost similar to new bridge

Most Read