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Polak introduces B.C. LNG legislation

LNG Industry,

Environment Minister Mary Polak has introduced legislation that will ensure that British Columbia (B.C.) has the cleanest LNG facilities in the world.

Having the world’s cleanest LNG facilities means protecting the air and water in B.C., which is why Premier Christy Clark made this a priority for the minister’s mandate and why meeting this commitment is seen to be so important.

The centrepiece of the plan is a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity benchmark that is lower than any other LNG facility in the world. As well, companies will have flexible options to reach this world-leading benchmark, including purchasing offsets and contributing to a technology fund.

The cleanest LNG facilities in the world

“British Columbia is taking another step in global environmental leadership – the cleanest LNG facilities in the world will help the largest GHG-emitting nations reduce their emissions, and improve their air and water quality,” said Polak. “The export of B.C. LNG is both an economic and an environmental opportunity for the province. As the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, natural gas is part of a global climate solution.”

B.C.’s Liquefied Natural Gas Strategy details the Province's goals in maintaining its leadership in clean energy and climate action. B.C. consulted with industry on the best way to achieve these goals and came up with the following conclusions:

  • An emissions benchmark with flexible options – including purchasing offsets and a technology fund – will be the most effective at meeting the Province’s goals while maintaining LNG industry competitiveness.
  • The benchmark and its compliance costs must be viewed in the context of total B.C. operating costs to ensure the province remains a competitive place to invest.
  • A programme will be included to provide a pro-rated incentive to companies for achieving the benchmark based on the LNG industry’s compliance costs, which will ensure the competitive investment environment continues. By encouraging investment in advanced technology and rewarding achievement of world-leading performance, the programme will help ensure the development of the cleanest LNG facilities in the world.

Based on a review of leading jurisdictions, B.C. is also implementing new interim ambient air quality objectives for nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide for all new and expanding industrial facilities that are consistent with the benchmarks in the Kitimat Airshed Assessment. These objectives establish levels for emissions to the air to protect human health provincewide.

“There is no point in establishing an LNG industry in B.C. if we can’t protect the environment – we want to enable safe development with great environmental standards,” said Polak. “We have a proud heritage of developing the oil and gas industry in this province to world-leading standards. This pride and commitment to the environment guides us as we take this next, big step with LNG.”

These actions and incentives alone do not end the need for climate action. To that end, government is committed to working with industry to reduce emissions in the upstream.

New measures in every sector are going to help B.C. reach its long-term climate change goals in tandem with the build-out of the LNG industry. The Province will be releasing its plans to achieve this in the coming months.

Adapted from press release by Ted Monroe

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