Woodfibre LNG Chooses Electric Power Over Gas

LNG-MAIN

The company invited a select group of residents to make the announcement about choosing electric over gas for its operations. Above, Byng Giraud discusses the LNG project with local environmentalist John Buchanan.
Photo: Gagandeep Ghuman

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: May 13, 2014

Woodfibre LNG announced today its proposed liquefaction project will run off electric power, a decision its officials say was guided by feedback from the community.

Jack_Fowler-500x55-May2014

The decision will make the operation the greenest LNG operation in the province, the company claims.

“By choosing electricity, Woodfibre LNG will be among the greenest LNG facilities in the province if not the world.” Giraud

The vice-president of corporate affairs at Woodfibre LNG, Byng Giraud, said when the company sought input from the community, air quality emerged as a top concern.

“That was the number one thing people told us about,” he said, addressing a select group of locals at the Executive Inn hotel.

Choosing electric over gas means emissions would be lowered by 80 per cent, and nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide emissions by around 95 per cent, he said.

“In comparison with using gas turbines for the main refrigerant compressors, selection of electric drive would reduce GHG by approximately 80 per cent.”

My Sea to Sky, an anti-LNG group, called the decision a ‘deceitful carrot’.  

A member of the My Sea to Sky, Eoin Finn said BC residents will pay more for their hydro in order to subsidize LNG business.

While admitting that hydro is a cleaner option, Finn said the decision ultimately means BC Hydro will reach into the consumer’s pocket to make up for lost revenue.

“It will require a new dam to power just one LNG processing plant. For instance, the proposed Site C dam would cost BC taxpayers eight to ten billion dollars,” Finn said.

Giraud, meanwhile, said the company knows of few LNG projects that are using electricity.

“By choosing electricity, Woodfibre LNG will be among the greenest LNG facilities in the province if not the world,” he claimed.

The company is doing baseline environmental studies and is planning more community consultation sessions.

Comments

  1. Mona Benge says:

    Of course choosing electricity does not change the public safety hazard of a floating plant right beside a massive LNG storage vessel beside a carrier supertanker being filled. All 3 floating together side by side. They say incidents are rare but rare things happen somewhere and when LNG is involved these incidents are catastrophic. The most recent being in Washington State. Everyone was evacuated for a 2 miles radius because there was a great fear the storage tanks would explode. According to the Society of International Gas Tanker & Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) that there is no acceptable probability for a catastrophic LNG release. LNG ports must be located where LNG vapors from a spill or release cannot affect civilians. LNG ports must be located where they do not conflict with other waterway uses nor should they be sited in long, narrow inland waterways due to greater navigation risk. Environmentally there real concerns. The underwater sound of the facility and tankers is magnified by 5 so it will drive away whales, dolphins and herring. They just came back. The Fortis pipeline will go through blue listed Grizzly habitat, near residential area, under the estuary and through old growth protected forest and wintergrounds for moose and elk. (from the Fortis report online) Do we really want that kind of a hazard in the tourist mecca for people all over the world? It is wrong for public safety, wrong for the environment and wrong for the economy.

    • Jon S. says:

      For the record…
      Wrong for the environment? How is reducing the need for coal in other parts of the world bad for the environment? Sure it would be great to rely solely on renewables but at this point it is not reasonable. In terms of fracking – while the science on fracking is still inconclusive stopping this project, or by extension every LNG project in BC will not stop facking. These are two separate issues. Most importantly this plant is electric driven. Virtually no emissions will come from the plant.

      Wrong for public safety? This is far away from any community. Only four ships will come each month. Sure it is not risk free, but the real threat to public safety is distracted driving.

      Wrong for the economy? I did not know that 100 new family supporting jobs are a bad thing for the economy. I guess I need to re do Econ 100! The reality is that while this not the economic engine that the old pulp mill was, 100 good jobs will have definitely have a measurable impact on the local economy. There also will be the spin off jobs to be had, such as transport to and from the facility.

      You can’t really argue that the plant will hurt tourism. This plant would improve the site which currently resembles a huge abandoned parking lot. Woodfibre LNG is using less than half the site and in their plan they have committed returning the unused portions to green space. Building this plant could even enhance tourism by showcasing LNG in BC. The less than one tanker arriving each month will also not effect tourism. If large ocean vessels would kill tourism, then by that logic Squamish terminals (which sees 4-12 large vessels per month) would already have decimated the industry.

      Woodfibre LNG will also reduce the tax burden on Squamish residents. The plant lies within district boundaries and requires no municipal services. While the final tax bill is not known it is estimated to be in excess of $1 million . The district of Squamish has a looming infrastructure crisis and this money is direly needed. By offsetting municipal taxes this project will put more money in homeowners pockets allowing they to spend or save more…boosting the economy.

      • Chris Pilutik says:

        Thank you Jon. You are so right. It is time the silent majority speaks up and pushes this great opportunity to fruition.

        • Melyssa says:

          China is not reducing their need for coal for a while. The notion it will have immediate impacts is not accurate. They are actually set to increase all forms of fossil fuels for many years to come because their energy needs are insanely high.

          • Jon S. says:

            The need for energy will not evaporate. These emerging countries will, in all likelihood, need more coal if they don’t get LNG. So, if these countries need more energy regardless, I would rather see cleaner natural gas used any day, over coal.

      • Delena Angrignon says:

        Hi Jon. I am curious where you got the number of $1 million in municipal taxes from. My understanding is that Rich Coleman wants to cap what municipalities can charge. See link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-prepared-to-cap-local-taxes-on-lng-development/article17075089/
        and if the project is actually floated it even reduces the chance of Squamish getting much from this deal. I totally agree that Squamish needs industry that can pour tax dollars into our community. What I don’t like is when I hear our own government tying our hands. I keep asking where the economics on this project is. With Corporate taxes going to Singapore per our trade agreement with Singapore and the fact per the NEB website that WFLNG simply has a tolling agreement with the Singapore Corp. The LNG rebate tax program….
        Where is the money?

  2. Jon S. says:

    This is great news! This means that, right here in Squamish, we will produce LNG with virtually no emissions. This will allow other nations to use cleaner burning natural gas and reduce their reliance on dirty coal. We have a chance to be trailblazers for clean industry, for jobs at home and to help the world. Squamish has a proud history of producing sustainable forest products, now we can all be proud to make something again!

    • Melyssa says:

      Fossil fuels are never ‘clean’.
      Are you sure about the ‘sustainability’ of forest products being Squamish’s history?

      • Jon S. says:

        Hydro, solar, and wind are not 100% clean either. Each has an impact on the environment in some way or another. For example hydro reservoirs can eliminate carbon absorbing green space. Sure these alternatives are cleaner than natural gas, but they cannot, in the near future, replace fossil fuels. LNG is the cleanest economic viable alternative.

        The forest industry in Squamish has historically been a leader in sustainability. Look around Squamish, most of the hills around town are second growth. Even 100 years ago cut blocks where replanted, better practices than then in many places today! More recently the former Woodfibre pulp mill, Interfor mill and woodlands where all ISO certified certified sustainable.

        • Elijah says:

          No one would say that solar, wind, water are 100% clean (whatever that actually means I’m not exactly sure, but I’ll assume what you mean to say here). But they are infinitely better than oil/gas and all their implications. In addition, there are clear alternatives, including geothermal (like at our university Quest), and biofuels. As well as greater efficiencies with existing resources and retro fitting. Other regions and countries are going full ahead on a plethora of technologies and have dramatically reduced dependency on oil/gas. If you think that these are somehow worse that what the oil/gas industries have been doing to the world – from everything to pollution to environmental disasters then you are really testing the credulity of this community. Start with climate change and the billions of dollars that will cost our economies, disrupting the lives of every single person on this globe. And then, just for fun, take a little tour of the tar sands, Kalamazoo, the Gulf of Mexico, or some communities in northern BC already engaged in lawsuits because of contaminated water.

  3. Mikael M. says:

    Excited to see such an eco-minded community working together to build one of the worlds greenest LNG plants, happy to see this step in the right direction!

  4. Chris Pilutik says:

    Where do these my sea to sky people get their information from. The statements regarding BC Hydro are completely made up. We do not charge the consumer more to subsidize industry. I agree site C should not be built when we have a very clean gas fired plant of the same capacity not in use in port moody.

    • Nate Dolha says:

      Clearly, My Sea to Sky is running out of ideas… Site C (which was first proposed in the 1960’s) has zero connection to this plant. Makes for great theatrics, though…

      • Jon S. says:

        I agree. My sea to sky is comprised of a few small minded residents who are confusing Woodfibre LNG with other issues such as fracking, climate change or site C. They are a very vocal minority who needs to loosen the straps on their tin foil hats.

        I’m encouraged to see those who support the project being more vocal. Squamish is facing the very real problem of being seen as a bad place for business to invest because of a very vocal anti everything minority. It is a democratic right, priviledge, and responsibility to ensure governments allow solid economic opportunity to succeed.

        • Elijah says:

          We can talk more about the tinfoil hats Jon. But this claim, by none other than you, wins one off the bat:

          “What we can do is provide them with something that is better than coal, and last time I checked natural gas was far better for the environment than coal.”

          You need to check again, but this time with actual scientists. At Cornell, Professor Howarth is famous for “demonstrating that fracking has a much higher carbon footprint than coal, as a result of ‘fugitive methane emissions’ – small but persistent leaks of the potent greenhouse gas, throughout the extraction and transmission processes (methane can be up to 86 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2, over a 20 year period). The fact that these fugitive emissions are actually between 3.6% and 7.9% – much higher than previously thought – renders the terms “clean” or “natural” gas oxymorons, putting to bed the idea of gas as a “bridge fuel” (anything over 2.8% and gas is worse than coal).”
          You can read the rest of his paper here, and I’m sure we’ll wait for your peer-reviewed response. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-011-0061-5

        • Wendy says:

          Woodfibre-LNG will liquefy natural gas obtained by fracking. Almost all of the natural gas we all use comes from fracking. Very little natural gas is still available by traditional methods.

          Because during fracking, some natural gas (which retains 86 times more heat per molecule than carbon dioxide) escapes from cracks in the ground into the air, fracked natural gas is about equal to coal in greehouse gas impact.

          And why are we worried about weaning China off coal when we have 10 coal fired plants, between Alberta and Saskatchewan, polluting with mercury and putting asthma producing particles into the air?

          Because Woodfibre-LNG is owned in Singapore (and Canada has a NAFTA tax treaty with Singapore), and because of proposed very generous BC tax laws, which tax on net profit, very little tax will come to BC or Canada from Woodfibre LNG. When taxing net profits, the co gets to write off loads of things. Wouldn’t you like to start with your net income (not your gross income) and write off our rent, cell phone, renovation, etc?
          The profits will all go overseas to Singapore.
          Things would be VERY different economically if we operated like Norway, the only 1st world country to really make money from LNG. They tax on the volume of natural gas/LNG sold. Much harder to fiddle the books re volume of gas sold.

          There will be about 100 high skilled jobs, most of which you need an LNG ticket for. There will be few jobs for security guards. You could be a cook or run a water taxi, that’s a lower skilled job that will be avaiable (if they don’t hire qualified foreign workers, which is the trend in Kitimat).

          For Woodfibre-LNG to run on electricity, Site C dam (or something equivalent) will need to be built at vast cost to the public. At present, residential customers pay 8-10 cents/kwh for electricity and commercial customers pay 3-4 cents/kwh. This subsidy of business takes $209 from each residential customer’s pocket per year. Mr Bill Bennett is looking at lowering the commercial rate (or lowering it just for LNG maybe). So residential customers will probably be subsidizing commercial customers more in the future.

          Electrical rates rose Ap 1st and will more in the future, dramatically, to cover dam construction – all paid by for the public, which is a huge subsidy of electricity for Woodfibre-LNG. Natural gas rates rose Ap 1st by 25% for Vancouver residents and fell by 25% for Woodfibre/Squamish and Vancouver Island. Subsidy of Woodfibre LNG.

          So we have: profits going overseas, almost no tax coming to BC or Canada, and subsidy of both electricity and natural gas for Woodfibre LNG.
          All for 90 jobs? Seems like we are basically giving away our natural gas, which we don’t have that much of. 100 years supply (the BC government says) – don’t count on it. Who will we get it from when ours is gone? US? China?

          • Craig D. McConnell says:

            Hello Wendy,
            I admire the effort and good intentions of yourself and other environmental activists engaged in the debate. We all agree to wanting greater accountability from government, industry, and social institutions as relating to quality of life and the environment.

            However, credibility and verification are critical when attempting to sway public opinion. For example, I cannot recall that Singapore was a signatory to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
            Also, the BC tax regime for LNG marine exporters has not been finalized and that is one reason for the big corporate players such as Shell Canada, Chevron Canada, Apache Canada, etc. behind Kitimat and Prince Rupert-area projects not yet announcing their planned commitment or negotiating supply contracts with the marketplace. Taxation on net profit (earnings) defines the tax regime in Canada and the provinces. We are not nationized like Venezuala. Nor are we socialized (yet) like Sweden or perhaps Norway. That is why some foreign investment may gather momentum, given our limited capacity in domestic capital raising markets.
            What is an “LNG ticket?” I am familiar with skilled tradespeople who are gas-fitters, pipe-fitters, welders, electricians, millwrights, instrument technicians, and stationary engineers, but I have never heard of an LNG ticket.
            Woodfibre LNG will never have any influence on the decision for Site C Dam on the Athabaska River or an equivalent scaled energy project. BC Hydro has been proposing a flawed economic model for Site C for a few decades. Such hydroelectric infrastructure will only advance with the permitting of at least three projects the scale of Kitimat LNG, Prince Rupert LNG, and LNG Canada on the northwest coast. One would hope that complementary wind turbine power projects will be simultaneously assessed for the region, as suggested by Clean Energy Canada, and endorsed by the Pembina Institute.

            Might I suggest adjusting the tact to that of environmental and social lobbying. With corporate social responsibility (CSR) currently in practise one can participate and become acknowledged as engaged in the process. Saying “No” continually marginalizes the group effort.

            Western Canada has over 500,000 abandoned and producing oil & gas wells, conventional and unconventional, developed since the late 1940s. NE B.C. has over 31,000 of these oil & gas wells including current shale gas plays. There are only 8 groundwater monitoring wells established for sampling and analyzing subsurface geochemistry within NE B.C. Given that the landmass of NE B.C. represents 15%+ of the total province, do you think that is adequate independent groundwater monitoring?

            Focus on the source of the problem for change and improvment. No one can dismiss hydraulic fracturing and the environmental impact in NE B.C. Engage and lobby the BC Oil & Gas Commission (BCOGC) as they are responsible for regulations and protocols on drilling practices concerning surface casing, cementing surface casing, production casing, cementing production casing and therefore the intregity of these shale gas well systems. Include Geoscience BC in your lobbying.

            Note that the BC government, through multi-year environmental protection staff recommendations, are implementing a new Cumulative Effects Assessment (CEA) framework to guide resource development and use. The objective of CEA is to improve environmental impacts and outcomes given that the current project environmental assessments do not examine cumulative effects. The CEA framework appears to be a tool targeting the oil & gas industry, specifically the density and intensity of hydraulic fracturing.

            Wendy, give me a call if you would like further dialogue.

            Craig D. McConnell
            Geoscience Analysis Technology
            Enviro-Guard Technology

          • Delena Angrignon says:

            We do need to seriously look at the Economics of WFLNG. Here is some info that covers two points that Craig responded to Wendy. Hope this is helpful. Wendy is partially correct. Canada does have a trade treaty with Singapore. Not Nafta but one that ensures their is no Double taxation. Here are two links if you want to read through:
            http://www.fin.gc.ca/treaties-conventions/Singapore_-eng.asp
            http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/uploadedFiles/Protocol%20Amending%20Singapore-
            Canada%20DTA%20(Ratified)%20(01%20Aug%202012).pdf
            Wendy is absolutely correct that the company is Singapore based. I have included a link to the NEB website so you can open it up and see what the relationship is between the Parent company and WFLNG. They have a tolling agreement with WFLNG. https://docs.neb-one.gc.ca/ll-eng/llisapi.dll?func=ll&objId=977584&objAction=browse
            There is no BIG Corporate taxes being paid….unfortunately.
            As for the comments about the BC LNG tax, we can only know what has been said. Check out Rich Colemans comments about this.
            http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/bc-keen-to-become-world-player-in-lng/article17303859/
            “Under the tax plan announced in the Feb. 18 B.C. budget, LNG export plants on the West Coast would be subject to an initial tax rate of 1.5 per cent on net income. The rate will rise to as high as 7 per cent once the plants recover the capital costs of building what are expected to be multibillion-dollar terminals that will supply ships carrying LNG to Asia.

            The B.C. government has had extensive talks with Shell Canada Ltd., and the Calgary-based company remains bullish on B.C. LNG, Mr. Coleman said.

            The Shell-led LNG Canada project cautions that the proposed rate at and near 7 per cent would be too high. But Mr. Coleman said the B.C. government has built flexibility into its two-tier tax regime for LNG, giving project proponents the comfort to plan ahead.

            “We knew there would have to be flex in there for our conversations,” he said. “We’re not just imposing, but actually having a dialogue, and the companies think that’s important. We’re not finished our discussions. They wanted more time to work through the numbers with our folks. We think it’s important we’re not going to drop the ball on competitiveness. We’re going to be globally competitive.””

            I think Rich is quite clear that the tax will work to the Corporations advantage. WFLNG won’t be paying anything when you tax on net profits. I just don’t see the economics. Please help me with the math if I am missing something here.
            If we are going to be asked to blow our emissions for WFLNG and accept a poor tax benefit, shouldn’t we be sending this “clean energy” to our own provinces like AB and SK that are still on coal? Seems arrogant to point at China and say we can do anything to help them when we aren’t helping our own citizens.

  5. jane iverson says:

    I see nothing green about an LNG plant. Environmental, safety, economic and location issues remain of paramount concern along with the fact that the project just simply should not be allowed based upon the simple fact that we should be making a concerted effort to move away from the use of fossil fuels in favour of developing renewable resources.

    • Chris Pilutik says:

      It is not going to happen. As long as we do not divide the world population in at least half we are going to extract every last hydro carbon out of the ground and sell it. At this omen it is what pays the bills and yes some people are getting rich and richer, not me. It is Canadian policy. Maybe your parents voted for people like Mulroney who destroyed national energy policy and maybe we should take that back. There are no legitimate safety concerns. Lets do what we can to help but the only solution is a drastic population decrease on this planet. Check out life after oil. They will extract it and sell it if we do not receive the benefits another town will. You do know that CO2 will disperse naturally and it doesn’t make a lick of difference if you or the chinese burn it. I look at this not for financial gain but it is a reality and recycling shopping bags or fighting a LNG tax generating plant in SQ is not going to make a difference. But if it makes you feel good about yourself feel free to believe. I have lived here silently while the vocal minority tries to destroy the last chance of industrial tax base in this town. No longer. My Sea to Sky Voice will be heard.

  6. Sarah says:

    Still haven’t heard anything about the noise pollution of the facility. I am interested to know if we will hear a loud humm day and night?

    • Jon S. says:

      According to the engineers Project Description, the plant will emit little noise and it will not be heard in any residential area.

    • Wendy says:

      Sarah,
      There will be noise (130 decibels) if there is a stack burning off excess natural gas all the time. Wood-fibre LNG says that’s old technology, won’t happen. However at the LNG facility on the Canadian East Coast, where LNG is imported, locals were told the stack would almost never be used. And it has burned continuously. So we don’t know.

      Also Woodfdibre-LNG plans to use turbines (on a floating barge) to cool the natural gas, and turbines are like jet engines, are noisy (and will put noise into the ocean). Water transmits sound 5 times faster and much farther than air, so that noise will probalby keep marine mammals from communicating with each other, as well as their food, herring. :( They may all go away. I have no idea how well inslated Woodfibre LNG plans to have the tubines – how much noise into the air they will produce. That would be an extra cost for them. Don’t know if anyone has asked about that.

  7. Jean says:

    There is absolute nothing good about the whole thing and only because they had to concede by the effort of concerned citizens of Squamish, have chosen to make them self and the whole process look good, by suggesting that they are, if allowed to proceed, to use the electric way as it looks up front the better and cleaner solution. It still leaves the reality open, that some where North, those mega drill rigs up North doing the pollution for all those want to be LNG friends . One drill rig in average 40,000 hp and guess what they use gas to drive these drills and pump 9000 psi water and sand and undefined chemicals down under, through aquifers that eventually will let the gunk come up or into the rivers and down to us with all the dead fish in it. Lets give it a bit time and prove me wrong . Or maybe some of those enthusiastic supporters, for so very little in it for Squamish, thinking they might get a job if they buy in on the scam. I am firmly convinced if the LNG ever gets going and I hope it wont, within years all the rest of the World that has equal or even more Gas reserves will be competing for the little bit that is needed when Thorium and Ocean wave power, besides Solar and Run of the Rivers and Wind power is established and functioning . The mayor anticipated customer openly staid ” LNG good cleaner source of energy for interim solution!!!” do I read more then what he actually wanted to say . Meaning we use it until all the other renewable energy sources are in place and don,t we know that China has as much or more then Canada and the USA together. Natural gas witch is a misnomer actually, natural gas is only natural as a byproduct of vertical oil well pumping crude oil…the other stuff is Earth gas, pure Methane” or UN-natural gas, we even can call it, “polluted not knowing whats in it gas” as it is done in horizontal drilling in shale deposits and as mentioned treated with undisclosed chemicals … maybe even a good way to get rid of hazardous supplies, that would cost a lot to Hazmat dispose or neutralize!
    So does the government actually know that Peru has way more Gas then Canada, is as close to Asia as we are and Oregon is drilling in the Ocean just like Australia and Australia is very close to Asia, so please hire some mathematicians and start re-thinking that whole fiasco, before we have to pay for the misadventure now in progress. Lets free some of the planed expenditures money, to invite companies to create clean energy products to come to Squamish with intensives, or for the time being, use the CNG already available, but not sold by Fortis to the consumers that want it, as cleaner energy and properly promote and making it available.. the USA is on its way, how long for the government to wake up from a bad dream

  8. G_h says:

    Great that Woodfibre have been able to clarify this. If they could just clarify the tax issues also I think most sensible people would be firmly in favour. Unsurprisingly the hysterical self-righteous anti-development crowd will always contrive a reason to hate this thing, even if it ran on air and farted out unicorns and rainbows.

  9. Melyssa says:

    To address any issues with My Sea to Sky’s member Eoin’s comment about the rate hikes, please read the many articles that have been posted about this over the past 3-4 years. Here is just one: http://www.straight.com/news/john-calvert-and-marc-lee-subsidizing-dirty-industries-recipe-electricity-rate-hikes

    The argument that this is ‘Cleanest’ LNG in the world is ridiculous. Sure, by implementing technologies to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions you are less dirty. But the reality is we are shipping off these fossil fuels for another country to increase THEIR greenhouse gas emissions more than double into the atmosphere and since we actually share the atmosphere attempting to make a fossil fuel industry appear ‘green’ is both absurd and ignorant to the reality of its impact. It doesn’t take a scientific debate to see through that propaganda given by Woodfibre and the BC Liberals and Christy saying that BC would be doing the world a favour by increasing and exporting LNG. Come on now. My Sea to Sky is not asking for everyone to ride bikes to work and live off fire in their homes. We understand there is currently and will be for the future decades a need for fossil fuels, but the world is shifting away and reducing their demand for it. The world is shifting into renewables and thinking long term. Canada on the other hand remains primitive in their forward thinking about preparing for a very different world in the future.
    Trying to maintain status quo is digging your head into the ground. We have the capacity and ingenuity to do better for ourselves and the children we are leaving behind.

    Woodfibre is going to be wooing as many of us in the next few months and the BC Libs try real hard to make you believe we’ll all be swimming in Prosperity Fund revenue and producing ‘clean’ energy. Fall for it and you are ignoring the overwhelming evidence otherwise and the imminent need for a shift in our collective thinking. We can do better! Canadian’s want better.

    • Woodfibre LNG (Gord Addison) says:

      Woodfibre LNG would like to clearly state that they will not receive a subsidized rate from BC Hydro.

      Stating that BC Hydro rate payers will bear the burden of this choice, is absolutely and categorically false.

      BC government policy as stated on pages 8 & 9 of “LNG: A Strategy for BC’s Newest Industry” says that LNG proponents will be required to bear the cost of infrastructure development and energy supply for our projects. The framework requires that LNG policy on power rates for LNG projects protect existing ratepayers.
      Woodfibre will bear the cost of tying into the BC Hydro system and we will pay the rates set by BC Hydro. There is no subsidy.
      In fact, the choice to go electric is likely an additional cost to the project.

      • Wendy says:

        Mr Addison,
        What rate has been struck between Woodfibre-LNG and BC Hydro/BCUC?

        All commercial industry receives a subsidized rate from BC Hydro, paying 3-4 cents/kwh, set by BC Utilities Commission. In addition, some industrial users receive “special rates”, with the price arranged with BC Hydro, not by BCUC, the normal route.

        Mayor Kirkham of Squamish wrote a letter to Mr Bill Bennett on March 4, 2014 asking for further subsidization of the LNG industry, “competative rates so the LNG exporters are motivated to use hydroelectrical power as opposed to natural gas.”‘ Natural gas is cheaper than electricity.

        This letter has been rapidly followed by review of electrical rates, happenning now, as discussed in the Vancouver Sun May 15, 2014, pg D4.
        “There is a rate review underway now and officials are trying to determine if there are more ‘attractive rates’ that can be delivered to heavy industrial users”.

        So commercial rates may drop below 3-4 cents/kwh. Or some commercial users, such as LNG plants, may receive a lower commercial rate. It’s a bit of a fix, isn’t it? How can Woodfibre-LNG be given a rate lower than 3-4 cents/kwh, and not give the same reduced rate to other proposed LNG plants in BC (at least a dozen of them)?

        Residential customers, in contrast, pay 8-10 cents/kwh, close to what it costs BC Hydro to produce electricity. The lower electricity prices for commercial users represent a $350,000,000/year subsidy of commercial users by residential customers. That works out to $209/BC Hydro account/year – money of residential customers pockets. These figures are based on electricity prices before the rate increase April 1, 2014.

        The idea of Woodfibre-LNG using electricity rather than natural gas is very attractive for maintaining good air quality. Unfortunately there’s more to the puzzle than air quality. There is concern re scaring our recently returned marine mammals away from Howe Sound again (they left during 1950’s industrialization of Howe Sound). Grey whales, orcas, and porpoises communicate using sound. WFLNG’s preferred plan is to have the natural gas cooling plant on a barge. The cooling is done by turbines, which make lots of noise. The noise will be transferred through the barge into the water (which conducts noise 5 times faster and much farther than air). The noise will probably make it difficult for a given type of marine mammal to communicate with each other; they will probably leave Howe Sound again. Even herring communicate with each other using sound. Herring are eaten by salmon, which are eaten by seals, which are eaten by orcas. Otters and water birds eat herring. Grey whales eat herring eggs. Herring is integral to the food chain.

    • Wendy says:

      LNG “clean energy”:
      The LNG industry is repetitively called a clean industry. In what way clean? Lack of black smoke? “Clean energy” appears to mean fewer greenhouse gasses. Read on. Most of the natural gas we use today is obtained by fracking. During fracking, most of the natural gas coming from a well is successfully captured. However, after the well is used, some “fugitive” natural gas escapes from cracks in soil and is lost into the air. A molecule of natural gas traps 86 times the heat that a molecule of carbon dioxide does, so this fugitive natural gas is important. If you take the carbon dioxide released when natural gas is burned plus the fugitive natural gas that escapes into the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect from fracked natural gas is about the same as the greenhouse effect of the carbon dioxide released from burning coal. Premier Clark says we have a moral duty to help wean China off coal-burning plants. She seems to forget the 10 coal burning plants already spewing carbon dioxide, mercury, and asthma producing particles into the air breathed by our neighbours in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

  10. Melyssa says:
  11. Elijah says:

    This is becoming too typical in the journalism of the Squamish Reporter. Blowing bubbles instead of asking tough questions and reporting hard facts about the proposed LNG facility.

    Example? This is classic:

    “Choosing electric over gas means emissions would be lowered by 80 per cent, and nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide emissions by around 95 per cent, he said.”

    This blurb explains practically nothing, and he should’ve been told to clarify.

    What’s the original benchmark of the now reduced 80% (stilled unnamed) “emissions,” and 95% of nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide emissions? Or, what’s the “improved” volume of the 20% of unnamed emissions, and 5% of nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide emissions that’ll be produced? If these emissions were happening in your own home, wouldn’t you want to know the original volumes?

    And shouldn’t we all be happy that while Woodfibre was happy to go ahead with these emissions, they are now all proud of themselves that they are “listening” to citizens? Nice try boys.

    But this isn’t even the elephant in the room.

    It’s climate change. All juiced by our addiction to oil/gas. Solution? Christy Clark wants to double-down on the madness by bullying us into increased fracking, pipeline construction, and all the deleterious consequences – some we can’t even predict because of the lack of data.

    The proposed LNG facilities are just one domino in a sequence of backwards strategies that can only be justified by a deep denial of reality. Support of it – and its related industries – will certainly show itself in time to be on the wrong side of history. But perhaps by then it’ll be too late. The latest reports across many parts of the world already say it is.

    • Jon S. says:

      This project has little to do with fraking. Not to mention that the science on the impacts on fracking is still inconclusive. Stopping this project will have no impact on fracking.

      This project will help reduce climate change. We cannot control what energy emerging countries use. What we can do is provide them with something that is better than coal, and last time I checked natural gas was far better for the environment than coal.

      The real elephant in the room is what will happen if this project does not go ahead.
      Here’s what will happen: LNG plants will be built elsewhere, likely burning natural gas to cool the LNG. This is worse for the environment and climate change and Squamish will loose out on the opportunity for good paying jobs and much needed tax revenue.

      • Elijah says:

        Where does the natural gas come from Jon?

        • Nate Dolha says:

          The proponents have stated they will be buying excess market gas, which is why the plant will be busier in the summer months (when domestic demand is lower. They do not own any upstream or midstream facilities, only the shipping facility.

          Folks need to keep in mind that this plant is 1/10th the size of one of the proposed northern plants, which is why they can run off the as is hydro grid, and not contribute to increased gas production up north.

      • Wendy says:

        This project is about the greenhouse effect – and won’t reduce it.

        Most of the natural gas we all of use is obtained by fracking (we have very little natural gas left that can be obtained without fracking).

        The LNG industry is repetitively called clean energy. In what way clean? Lack of black smoke? “Clean energy” appears to mean fewer greenhouse gasses. Read on. Most of the natural gas we use today is obtained by fracking. During fracking, most of the natural gas coming from a well is successfully captured. However, after the well is used, some “fugitive” natural gas escapes from cracks in soil and is lost into the air. A molecule of natural gas traps 86 times the heat that a molecule of carbon dioxide does, so this fugitive natural gas is important. If you take the carbon dioxide released when natural gas is burned plus the fugitive natural gas that escapes into the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect from fracked natural gas is about the same as the greenhouse effect of the carbon dioxide released from burning coal. Premier Clark says we have a moral duty to help wean China off coal-burning plants. She seems to forget the 10 coal burning plants already spewing carbon dioxide, mercury, and asthma producing particles into the air breathed by our neighbours in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

  12. Kerry Brown says:

    While I am against the LNG plant in general I do think this is good news. I will continue to oppose the plant but at the same time I’m pragmatic enough to realize that this may be a done deal. Working with industry to develop greener solutions is always worth while. LNG facilities will be built. I believe we need to concentrate on developing the greenest possible regulations for all facets of the LNG industry including tracking. Always saying no with no compromise will get us no concessions in the end. Stronger environmental assessments and much stricter regulation is the answer.

    • Craig D. McConnell says:

      Kerry,
      I am encouraged when a pragmatist such as yourself enters the dialogue. Much of the community debate over the past few months has been polarized and positional.
      If the Woodfibre LNG Project is inevitable, perhaps the high level of scrutiny and expectation could result in a “best in class” facility (I will refrain from using the terms “clean” or “green” to avoid populist notions). The continued scrutiny of WFLNG through the environmental permitting process (Federal & Provincial) and the successful attainment of permitting will place significant leverage against the much larger planned facilities on the BC northwest coast to adopt the same WFLNG “Maximum Renewables” using electric compressor-refrigerant motor drives (E-Drives) proposed in the Clean Energy Canada (CEC) report “Lock In Jobs Not Pollution.” The focus of the CEC report includes comparisons only of the largest LNG facilities proposed for Kitimat and Prince Rupert, namely: LNG Canada, Kitimat LNG, and Prince Rupert LNG.
      If the Squamish community is intent on going “elephant” hunting, we can impose “best in class” change on an entire industry by elevating environmental practise and LNG plant safety/integrity.

      Craig D. McConnell
      Geoscience Analysis Technology
      Enviro-Guard Technology

  13. Wolfgang W says:

    So following your line of thought, Elijah, we are in a conundrum: Dirty coal and dirty oil versus also dirty gas? What would you suggest to rapidly emerging large economies such as China and India, with not only large populations but equally large expectations for ‘a better life’? To go back to hand carts and oil lamps while we here keep enjoying our accustomed lifestyle with our cars, homes and our electricity dependent on fossil fuels, the lights always coming on, the beer in the fridge always cool and the tablets never failing to recharge? Are you perhaps a supporter of the plea by the Father of the Gaia Hypothesis, James Lovelock, that we should invest massively in nuclear power as a relatively carbon neutral ‘bridge-fuel’ to get us to a ‘save landing’ before the much vaunted alternative energy technologies have come of age? Come on Elijah, and the same request goes to Jean, Tracy and many others, who may be part of the SeatoSky Group, don’t be shy, enlighten us with what workable short term alternatives you would propose, both for us here as well as for the Asian economies and trading partners.

    • Elijah says:

      I’d be happy to address your questions Wolfgang. First things first though. Here’s a basic question for you before we begin: Do you believe in anthropogenic climate change?

      • Wolfgang W says:

        Goodness, Elijah, you put the question almost as Torquemada would have! :) :), but yes, I do, and that is after reading a lot about the subject and for years. My sources, which include The Economist as well as other publications and books generally not noted for ‘hair-shirt environmentalist’ attitudes have no inhibitions to go even further and call the era we live in the ‘Anthropocene’, the evidence for it is simply too overwhelming. Here a link to the lead article in the May 26, 2011 edition of The Economist, which discusses precisely that.
        http://www.economist.com/node/18744401
        Have I answered your question to your satisfaction, Elijah? Now over to you!

        • Elijah says:

          I’m glad to read, Wolfgang, you’ve taken that first step, believing that anthropogenic climate change is good science. I’m afraid, however, that many of your pro-LNG comrades haven’t taken the same time to read the science. They tend to write comments about “Globull Warming,” have a preference for obscenity, predilections for poor grammar and writing skills, including (and not surprisingly), a distrust for studies in climatology, economics, and critical thinking.
          In any case, I trust you are sharing your wealth of reading material about the reality of climate change with them. (I’m cautionary here too, as it seems like every weekend I have people coming to my door telling me how they too have been reading their literature for decades, so they are certain about their beliefs. We’d both agree, wouldn’t we, that it is really about the quality of the literature we read, and not so much the amount or time we’ve been reading it?)
          Now with some preliminaries out of the way, I think we can agree that we wouldn’t think of ourselves as having just fallen off the turnip truck? So again, while I’m happy to read that you believe in climate change, we both know that for some, even that isn’t enough for them to sense the urgency to get off our oil/gas/coal addictions? Be that as it may, let’s leave that aside for the moment.
          Let’s ask ourselves, instead, this question: If climate change is a reality, with the catastrophic costs mounting everyday – first in the tremendous loss of life because of floods, rising sea levels, hurricanes, tornadoes, torrential inundations – but also in property and agriculture – with much more to come, isn’t it apparent that our governments should do everything in their power to stop that dependency from further juicing up climatic upheaval? (Here’s just one more example of our future from today’s news: http://www.newsdaily.com/article/465a516630a3339f8a5adabc5e4dc91b/floods-affect-over-1-million-in-balkans-destruction-terrifying)
          I know that our pen-pal relationship is going along a little slowly, but I think it’s a useful way to start out with what most certainly will be a profitable exchange of views.
          Your turn! Write soon!

          • Wolfgang W says:

            Why do you thrust me automatically into the ‘Pro-LNG’ camp, because my questions about LNG Woodfibre do not spring from the environmental belief system, but are foremost focussing on the economics of the project for the Province and for Squamish in particular, as demonstrated to posts on this and the other Squamish paper?

            Nevermind that, you have not even attempted to answer my question posed to you on May 15 in this thread. Being well read as you state, you would know that ‘virtue starts at home’. So, when are you going to give up using fossil fuels, abandon and recycle your car, and even more so if – heaven forbid – it should turn out to be a gaz-guzzling truck or SUV?

            Rather than wagging your finger at governments (others in general), don’t you think it is time you answered this and my earlier question? After all, I have complied with my part of the bargain and answered yours.

          • Elijah says:

            Come now Wolfgang. You do drive-by comments throughout the thread, and then plead innocence when it comes to defending the LNG facility.
            In any case, let’s move along.

            If you believe in the science of climate change, and the consequent, extraordinary, costs associated with loss of human life and damages to our economies, then there’s no choice. Our governments have to do everything possible to mitigate our dependencies on oil/gas/coal.

            It’s only in the most macabre of agendas, with anthropogenic climate change barreling down on humanity, that our governments double-down on the insanity and continue with the exploitation of the tarsands, with the attempts to transport it by pipeline to the US and over to the BC coastline. This will only exacerbate wild climatic changes and the devastation they are already bringing.

            This goes for Christy’s LNG fantasy. On every level, it too, is bowing to the lowest common denominator of addressing our energy needs. For a little taste, you should Google the HBO news program, VICE, and see how BP has raped indigenous people with LNG projects.

            As for your challenge for the change, there’s a lot to be noted, but I don’t have time to teach you the basics of economics, or to go over, point by point what other countries and communities are doing. Like most issues, you need to do the research yourself. But here’s a good start:

            Because our oil/gas/coal industries are so tightly woven into our world – thanks to the deregulation, lobbying, and massive subsidies over the decades – any shift can’t be overnight. But the shift can more quickly be done, one through greater demands for efficiency. Second, by retro fitting our houses and buildings with energy-efficient technologies. It’s a good start.

            Then, take a look at renewable resources. Start to use your imagination. For instance, with the Princeton researchers who identified fifteen basic technologies that could be used. If at least half are used, we’d be able to control the world’s carbon emissions for at least the next fifty years. See: Pacala, Socolow, “Stabilization Wedges: Solving the Climate Problem for the Next Fifty Years with Current Technologies,” Science, 305 (2004): 968-72.

            As for India and China, take a look at recent work dealing with the use of thorium for nuclear power. Both countries are investing billions in this technology and are currently hoarding thorium. See: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Quirks+and+Quarks/Excerpts/ID/2279320810/ and
            http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ambroseevans-pritchard/100026863/china-going-for-broke-on-thorium-nuclear-power-and-good-luck-to-them/

            From there you can look at the other scholarly research on the subject with the text: http://www.springer.com/engineering/energy+technology/book/978-1-4020-6723-5

            Or, if you are more visual, watch this conference talk from Berkeley: “How to Bring Solar Energy to Seven Billion People”:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjrNkkOi8V4

            But if there’s just one thing you read, read this article from yesterday’s NYT:

            Why, we could ask, is an economy like California’s moving this direction if it is so fraught by the problems you and your comrades suggest? You try to frighten people that tinkering with our fossil fuel addiction will destroy the economy.

            And yet “California is poised to pass Italy and the Russian Federation and become the world’s eighth-largest economy in 2013.” Why can’t Harper and Christy do the science and crunch the numbers like Governor Brown? He understands what climate change is bringing because they are living in an inferno. But he knows it can be done. And if California (and a host of other countries) can do it, why can’t Canada? Why can’t BC?
            http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/20/us/politics/in-california-climate-issues-moved-to-fore-by-governor.html?emc=edit_th_20140520&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=29203466&_r=1

            The real economic truth is that by clinging to unsustainable energies, Canada is digging itself into a deep hole. There is no future clinging to it, and while the rest of the world moves towards the development and implementation of sustainable, renewable resources, we are crippling Canada’s future to sell such innovations to the rest of the world. And this very much starts with the LNG fantasy here in BC.

            I look forward to your next note pen pal!

          • Wolfgang W says:

            I leave you the last word, as I would most likely also have done with Torquemada a few centuries earlier. What else is there to say in the face of such conviction and certainty of belief? ‘Belief’ and ‘believing’, by the way, coming up far too often in your conversation, Elijah, which is purported to be scientific. Let’s not tax the patience of our readers with further discourse, although it is hard to restrain myself not to go ahead and pop the bubbles you keep blowing.

  14. Jean says:

    Boy is that entertaining reading…who needs a TV or a commercial News organization looking out for there own financial interest first, hearing about an other murder and an other fire and all that what local do-gooder,s do, about cleaning up garbitch and all the make shift projects people and governments are engaged in.
    There are only three things that matter first in the LNG debate
    Would it be save..
    Would it make economic sense to the locals not somebody somewhere…
    Would it be an improvement or more of the same or even Negative….

    These answered in my mind, it is my believe, all three fall into the negative category at this time of the available information and the discussions I have heard. That,s why the first step rather then hand pick a bunch of loyal,s or Spin Dr,s to advise the DOS , why not have a plebiscite, maybe a second one later if necessary, after the public is a bit more informed or some new deals or negative reports are becoming available prior to a commitment, after some open and rigorous discussions and especially some real facts, signed and delivered, irrevocable and under penalties if not achievable or adhered to.

    • Wolfgang W says:

      Three sensible questions by any definition, Jean. Now, if we could only get past the hysteria, spindoctoring and accusations – on both sides – to address them in a rational manner.

  15. Dave says:

    Whether you are for or against this project it will make no difference to this planet for many decades in terms of climate change. If you want to address this issue for the good of the ecosystem and humanity in the distant future and not in your or your Grandchild’s etc. lifetime then, yes, go ahead and lobby hard to get rid of fossil fuel use as soon as possible and that means globally. But you know what, the majority do not, and will not think this way. They will strive to make their lives and family as comfortable as possible and even enjoy a warmer climate in many regions. They will not sacrifice the economy to save future generations….Family is everything in the long run.
    Now if you want to cut down on your own emissions of G.Gases then go ahead, make your own town more comfortable and feel good about it. But don’t call yourself a Saint, cos you ain’t! Only Saints sacrifice everything for the good of all. China will not do it, America will not do it, Canada will not do it…can you think of any Country that will? Enjoy your life as best you can perhaps!
    The real crux is the LAG in what we can do and what effect it will have. The human mind is not geared for that , unfortunately.

    • Wolfgang W says:

      Well said Dave, and an Amen to that!

      • Elijah says:

        Dave, perhaps you are best left describing for yourself what the human mind is capable of tasking.
        Just take a little scan of what is out there in terms of human innovation and developing technologies. And also see how other countries and communities are moving ahead on these renewable, sustainable technologies – and making lots of money doing it.
        Opposing the LNG facility in Squamish is exactly to the point of grassroots activism, geared towards challenging ill-advised politicians. It’s all about climate change. Science, technology, history, the facts … aww heck, it’s all on our side.

  16. Dave says:

    Elijah .
    Yea, yea, its all out there; but dream on if you think enough Countries will come on board to make a difference. There will be only those whose economies will not suffer and those where the voters will not be pissed off because their little lives have been inconvenienced. And these are the Democracies. Now name a few of the Dictatorships who you think would be Globally altruistic enough to comply….Well?
    Read my stuff again and you might just get the point!

    • Elijah says:

      Let me get this straight: because rogue dictatorships don’t want to give up oil/gas/coal, then the rest of the world shouldn’t? Sounds reasonable!
      Let’s extend the logic: My neighbor lets his dogs crap all over his yard. I guess I might as well buy some dogs and do the same!
      First we don’t set public policy based on what dictatorial governments do. We set it according to evidence for the policies. Secondly, there’s the moral component. Sometimes we do something just because it is right. And it just turns out that doing what is right is good for the planet, and good for the economy.

  17. Dave says:

    Elijah: I never said we shouldn’t do it…..and it is right…But.
    You just don’t get the “but” bit. Please don’t form your logic on shaky misunderstood ground!

  18. Wendy says:

    Lots of people are discussing LNG, which is great.

    I wonder how your information on LNG in BC (and Canada) matches with the very readable, short, well written article I have attached below. The article is written by David Hughes, a geoscientist who worked for 32 years for the Geological Survey of Canada as a scientist and research manager. The article lists many pieces of information that have been used in speeches for a while. It also contains powerful, easy to understand multicolour graphs. http://www.watershedsentinel.ca/files/files/Hughes-BC-LNG-Jan2014.pdf

    Enjoy! Wendy

    • Wolfgang W says:

      Thanks for providing this link to David Hughes’ article. By relying on his expertise in evaluating resource extraction and reserves and focussing his narrative entirely on the economics of Canadian natural gas production and export with special emphasis on BC, he avoids the emotion laden environmental position. His argument against LNG exports in general thereby stands out that much stronger and starker.
      Is he right? Are his opponents? That is for us, the public, to find out.

      • Wendy says:

        Hello Wolfgang,
        I have not heard of anyone criticizing David Hughes’ information. Please see the information re him below, ie the bio info that comes up when you Google him.

        David Hughes

        J. David Hughes is a geoscientist who has studied the energy resources of Canada for nearly four decades, including 32 years with the Geological Survey of Canada as a scientist and research manager. He developed the National Coal Inventory to determine the availability and environmental constraints associated with Canada’s coal resources. As Team Leader for Unconventional Gas on the Canadian Gas Potential Committee, he coordinated publication of a comprehensive assessment of Canada’s unconventional natural gas potential. He is currently president of a consultancy dedicated to research on energy and sustainability issues.

        Over the past decade, he has researched, published and lectured widely on global energy and sustainability issues in North America and internationally. His work with Post Carbon Institute includes Drill, Baby, Drill (2013), the most comprehensive publicly available analysis to date of the prospects for shale gas and tight oil in the United States, and Drilling California, the first publicly available empirical analysis of actual oil production data from California’s much-promoted Monterey Formation.

        Hughes’s work has been widely cited in the press, including in The Economist, Forbes, and Bloomberg, and has been featured in Canadian Business, Walrus and elsewhere. He is a board member of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas – Canada and recently contributed to Carbon Shift, an anthology edited by Thomas Homer-Dixon on the twin issues of peak energy and climate change.

        Cheers, Wendy

        • Wolfgang W says:

          Impressive indeed! Now the ball is in the court of those who wish to make the economic case for the project…hello, hello?

  19. TJay says:

    Why would they do that /..Do they have anything against LNG ?…Weird, and NOT impressive….sheesh !!

  20. Wendy Tanoto says:

    Why not do some research on Sukanto Tanoto, the real owner of Woodfibre LNG? He’s a notorious mafia style businessman in Indonesia.

    His company, Asian Agri in involved in the largest tax evasion case in Indonesia. The British government is also going to launch an investigation on Sukanto Tanoto for his illegal use of shell companies, fake invoices and fake documents. This is just part of his companies’ history.

    Much more on corruption, fund embezzlement, deforestation, illegal logging, water pollution and criminals against human rights.