Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition Disappointed with Approval of Bear Head LNG plant
Although NOFRAC has chosen to focus our work on ensuring hydraulic fracturing would not take place in Nova Scotia, we also recognize fracking as a piece of the larger challenge of averting disastrous climate change.
So we are disappointed with the Nova Scotia government’s decision, via Minister of Environment Randy Delorey, to approve the proposed Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) export plant in Bear Head, on Canso Strait.
Nova Scotia has legislated targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, and admirably is on track for meeting those. But if built, Bear Head LNG would, by itself, increase GHG emissions 10% over 2012 levels. On top of that, the previously approved GoIdboro LNG project would increase GHG emissions by an additional 18%.
These two projects alone would add almost 30% to the province’s GHG emissions, at a time when we need to be moving decisively in the opposite direction.
In the conditions for approval, Minister Delorey has done no more than require that the Bear Head proponents back up their efficiency claims for limiting the production of greenhouse gases. The minister has not set conditions that would require significant reductions in these emissions.
Without further conditions placed on proposed LNG projects, it will be impossible for Nova Scotia to meet its legislated greenhouse gas reduction targets. We owe keeping those commitments to ourselves; and even more we owe it to our children and grandchildren.
It is worth noting that most, if not virtually all, of the gas for export will be piped here from the United States. The “economic opportunity” for building LNG plants in Nova Scotia, in spite of the distance from the gas production areas, is that public opposition and stricter regulations makes it virtually impossible to place new LNG plants on the Atlantic seaboard of the U.S.
It is time for the Minister to begin a discussion in Nova Scotia about the benefits and risks of LNG plants, and how (or whether) we can have this new industry in Nova Scotia without making climate change worse. That discussion will happen with or without our government; and the government’s approval of these projects is not by itself the social licence that the proponents require.
It is long past time for climate impacts to be a major factor in all government decisions.
Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition (NOFRAC)
May 27, 2015