Skip to content

LNG … is it really worth it ??



I read with dismay, the news in Coast Reporter of another green light afforded to Woodfibre LNG (“B.C. Oil and Gas Commission green-lights Woodfibre LNG,” July 12).

Certainly, the benefits the company promises the Squamish Nation play a part in this potential catastrophe for Howe Sound. These paybacks may be well deserved, but the price is too high.

Think about tankers upwards of 900 feet in length. Each giant would take up almost three football fields. Even with tugboat assistance, this colossal mass cannot stop quickly. You would not want to be paddling out there – the captain wouldn’t even see you – or on one of the many ferries navigating this very same busy passage intended for these monstrous vessels.

LNG super tankers in our waters pose a significant threat to the marine life that has recently been returning. Salmon, dolphins, herring and whales are again at risk.

Envision an old, decommissioned, purportedly refurbished LNG tanker suffering an accident. An immense methane cloud rises, devastating everything underneath and then starts its journey over water. Extremely flammable, it ignites up to 3,500 metres away from its origin, incinerating trees like matchsticks, animals, people and potentially entire towns. Our towns. The narrow coastlines of Howe Sound are well within the hazard range. Anyone following the International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operations (SIGTTO) rules will find that as little as 3,500 metres is considered the zone by which LNG tankers should be disallowed.

Additionally, Woodfibre is owned by a conglomeration of offshore companies, so it begs the question whether any profit would benefit Canada. Except for what we know about the benefits to the Squamish Nation, the B.C. government has opted to keep any royalty agreements confidential.

Carole Herder, Roberts Creek