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October 28, 2017 12:13 am

The burning question about LNG

Monday, February 15, 2016 @ 3:45 AM

By Bill Phillips

There is no doubt, burning natural gas is less harmful to the environment than burning coal.

We hear it from Premier Christy Clark all the time, even though last week’s Throne Speech toned down the rhetoric about B.C.’s ‘burgeoning’ liquefied natural gas industry. Clark, however, kept up the rah-rahs with her “quitters don’t win” speech (wasn’t that from some sports movie?).

Perhaps even more concerning news for the LNG industry last week was the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s (CEAA) report on Northwest LNG’s proposed plant at Lelu Island.

Almost overlooked in the news coverage of the report, was the revelation that the $11-billion plant at Prince Rupert, and others like it, aren’t quite as environmentally friendly as Clark would like us to believe.

“Total land and marine-based greenhouse gas emissions at full build-out would be 5.28 million tonnes CO2 per year,” reads the CEAA report. “Most emissions are land-based and generated by the compressor drivers for LNG production (4.25 million tonnes CO2 per year).”

Unless you’re a scientist, it’s hard to know whether that’s good or bad.

Then the report puts things in perspective: “The proponent concluded that the project would increase greenhouse gas emissions for the Province of B.C. by 8.5 per cent.”

Granted, we’ll be lucky if one plant gets off the ground anytime soon, but it wasn’t too long ago Clark was drooling over the prospect of having five or more LNG plants coming online in B.C.

Five plants would increase the province’s greenhouse gas emissions by 42.5 per cent. That’s a huge increase in our CO2 emissions … done in the name of being green. While that is a substantial increase, globally, it’s a drop in the bucket. The CEAA report says the Pacific Northwest plant would increase Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by .075 and globally, 0.015 per cent.

Even so, it’s still a big increase for B.C. In addition, just because we won’t make a significant blip globally, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We never seem to hear any plans about how B.C. will mitigate such an increase, given Liberals’ commitment to carbon neutrality.

It should also be “noted that Canada has set a 17 per cent reduction target for Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels to be achieved by 2020.”

However, the rationale for developing LNG, does make sense. If all those LNG plants result in the elimination of even some of the coal-fired power plants in China, the world will be a better place. The jury’s still out on how much though. The Centre for Liquefied Natural Gas in the U.S. says “existing domestic coal power plants produce two-and-a-half times more emissions on a lifecycle basis than that of LNG.”

The Environmental Research Web, however, isn’t as enamoured saying research shows “that, in general, natural gas produces less short-term climate change than coal only if there is little methane leakage associated with its extraction and if the efficiency of generating the electricity is high.”

It’s safe to say that burning LNG is less harmful to the global environment than coal but it’s not a long-term solution to climate change.

Clark and the Liberals keep touting that LNG is a green industry. It isn’t, but it’s better than the other fossil fuel we’re using.

We should be looking at LNG as a transition not a solution. Think of it like a heroin addict going on methadone … still not good for you, but it’s better than our self-destructive ways of old.

But, we still need to get clean.

Bill Phillips is a freelance columnist living in Prince George. He was the winner of the 2009 Best Editorial award at the British Columbia/Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray awards, in 2007 he won the association’s Best Columnist award. In 2004, he placed third in the Canadian Community Newspaper best columnist category and, in 2003, placed second. He can be reached at billphillips1@mac.com


Mr. Phillips you need to read Tony Seba’s book , Clean Disruption of Energy And Transportation . Chapter 8 , Natural Gas A Road To Nowhere . You are also leaving out the very most dangerous content in the gas RADIUM . Btw the unsanitized name for natural gas ( so cute a name is natgas ) is fossil methane .

In actual fact Bill, the Pacific Northwest plant would not increase global CO2 emissions 0.015 per cent. It wouldn’t increase them at all. The demand for LNG will be filled from somewhere. If not from us, then from Australia perhaps, but it will come from somewhere. If we don’t produce those emissions, someone else will so the end result will be the same.

Besides which, increased atmospheric CO2 is a net benefice, not harmful.

“Most emissions are land-based and generated by the compressor drivers for LNG production (4.25 million tonnes CO2 per year).”

With hindsight (which is of course 20/20 perfect) one can say that with a clear vision of the future we should have had the Site C dam in place some years ago! Then the compressors would be driven by clean (no CO2) hydro power! But, better late than never!

Well folks I got 3 goats to trade for a side of beef. Carbon tax just another cash grab for the shrinking tax dollar. Over 5 billion spent in 100 days in power and rising from the Federial Liberals and not one job created. We get sucked into buying better emission cars. Better insulate our homes. Low emission boat motors. Recycle our trash. Rap our hot water tanks to a save energy. Maybe we have become to efficient and its cut right in to the back pocket of Uncle Sam and now Uncle Sam looking at other ways. MHO.

The Big Totals: $262 million, $436 million and $227 billion
 If currently serving MPs were to leave Parliament in 2015, they would cost taxpayers $11.2 million a year in pension payments, adding up to $262 million by the time each of them reaches age 80. This is in addition to one- time severance payments of $15 million.
 If currently serving MPs were to leave Parliament in 2019, they would cost taxpayers $20 million a year in pension payments, adding up to $436 million by the time each of them reaches age 80. This is in addition to one-time severance payments of $9.8 million.

Natural gas is a cleaner fossil fuel than almost all other fossil fuels. To be a cleaner fuel (it never will be a clean fuel), it must travel from a natural well, not fracked, by pipeline to the end user.

Fracking alone removes any emission reduction that a gas flame has compared to an oil or coal flame. Liquifiying natural gas, then shipping across the world’s biggest ocean, then regasifiying it makes the total carbon emission load equal to or greater than burning locally mined coal. Burning coal that is shipped across the ocean never can be as clean as natural gas.

Fracking needs many powerful Diesel engines to pressurize the toxic brew that is forced into the rock formations. Those engines spew out vast quantities of emissions. The fracked rock formations promise big trouble in the future with contaminated aquifers and leaky wells. Eventually the fracking fluids will lubricate a stressed bed rock fracture and precipitate a damaging earthquake and who will be stuck with the bill?

and who will be stuck with the bill? Answer . The tax payer as the fossils have achieved regulatory capture putting us all on the hook for cleanup , just like the nuclear industry where NO insurance company in the world will underwrite their plants . One day people will get the wool pulled off their eyes . Thank for trying Steve Cooley

Why were my posts removed, I have screenshots to prove?????????????????


To see what humanity is up against . The Koch brothers’ dirty war on solar power , article . It came out on the 11th February . It’s a long read but very clear about what’s happening . They lost the last battle against Canadians with the loss of their boy in Ottawa but they never give up on trying to controlling us all with propaganda . They certainly have the ears of some , even here we hear the voices parroting their lies . Nice to see a few of the squaking parrots removed once in awhile .

    Do tell us about your solar system Ataloss. Oh wait you had a vision.


C02 emissions, C02 only makes up .01% of the atmosphere, of that .01% mans contribution is only about 4% tops. Now of that 4% Canada’s contribution is about 2%. Christy knows all her C02 talk is just BS but it buys votes.

Australia is selling coal just as fast as they can get it out of the ground, they talk C02 for votes but also know its BS.

There are over 2400 coal plants planned or being all around the world right now, even so called green Germany is building.

All this climate parties, sorry meeting what have they actually accomplished, nothing nadda. Just power, greed, money politics.

As I have said before there is no verifiable, reproducible science proving mans contribution to c02 levels has any climatic effect. Heck scientists haven’t even figured out how much effect comes from natural levels.

For most of the earths history C02 levels where much higher, plants evolved at higher levels. Before the recent rise in C02 the low level where close to the point where plants would become stressed. The higher levels of today is actually greening the earth, which is a good thing.

screen shot taken.

Now there is a Russian scientist speaking to the northwest about an LNG plant over there. They have noticed a huge reduction in salmon stocks near the plant. They assume its from all the bright lights, infra sound form the compressors and the added tanker traffic.
Wonderful aspect of LNG plans. Just what we need.

Lignite Woes

The plant operators are suffering financially. The Swedish state-owned energy company Vattenfall has put its German lignite power stations and associated mines in the eastern states of Saxony and Brandenburg up for sale following pressure from the Swedish government to withdraw from coal-fired energy. …….You’re absolutely right seamut . Coal is a growing industry . I found this outfit for ya . It’s for sale ! I’d jump in with both feet if I were you . I doubt you’d have many bidding against you . You’d think the kochs would already have bought it . I wouldn’t worry at all about solar flattening out the peak load period of every day , even cloudy days . Doesn’t have any affect on the income curve , right?

Sorry Ataloss the Swede politics are selling the coal plants, notice selling because the Swedish government has swallowed the C02 is bad BS. The plants are still there but keeping the coal plants in Denmark. By the way Swedish farmers have not swallowed the BS.

You sure seem to have a fear of the Koch brothers like most irrational green malcontents.

Come on Ataloss tell us about your wonderful solar system, please, pretty please.

Did you know that Germany can only supply less than 6% of its energy needs with solar and that is at high noon on a summers day despite 1\2 trillion spent on solar. Then comes winter and out put is almost nilch. 1/2 trillion, very expensive power, no wonder they are building coal plants.

Give more it depends how the cooling is set up, simple fix. hey maybe they can buy Alaska hatchery fish.

hey Ataloss you have to stop reading Rolling Stone magazine. The magazine that posted the story of a rape by a bunch of frat boys that never happened, no checking of the story, just ran with it. Yep Rolling Stone magazine and you have great creds together.

Rolling Stone magazine the source of the Koch brothers war on solar.

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