Protesters warn of dark side of LNG industry


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – As an international LNG conference wraps in Vancouver Friday, an environmental group plans to grab as much attention as possible, with a protest at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

The group Rising Tide takes issue with a lot of claims made about the industry.

For one, it has a problem with LNG being pegged as the cleanest fossil fuel.

The organization’s Stephen Collis says it may burn less carbon, but its extraction and transportation make it a lot less green. He also points to the need for tens of thousands of wells.

“They have to clear forests in order to drill the wells. These wells are only useful for a short period of time, that’s why they have to drill so many. You have to constantly move onto the next well. There is actually more boreal forest lost to fracking than lost to logging or any other kind of development,” says Collis.

Plus, questions linger about the safety of fracking, the process by which water is pumped underground to release the gas from shale.

“So you wind up dumping all these chemicals into the water table in the ground. It can lead to the contamination of the local water supply. It also uses an extraordinary amount of water. Eleven billion litres of water were used for fracking in BC in 2012,” Collis notes.

He doubts the 100,000 jobs included in early projections will materialize.

“You’re seeing more reports by economists on how few potential jobs will be created, and what jobs will be created will be, by and large, temporary.”

Friday’s protest will be staged at 1:30 p.m.

Collis says the demonstration is in solidarity with the Unist’ot’en of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, who are already protesting on the paths of the proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline, which would transport natural gas to Kitimat.

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