Take Action: Feds OK Massive LNG Project at Mouth of the Skeena

The News: The Canadian federal government gave conditional approval Tuesday to the massive Pacific NorthWest LNG project planned for British Columbia’s northwest coast. There are 190 legally binding conditions attached to the approval, including for the first time the imposition of a condition placing a maximum cap on greenhouse gas emissions. Read More.

The Project: The Petronas-led $36-billion liquefied natural gas project on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert, B.C., would ship 19 million tonnes a year of liquefied gas to markets in Asia while pumping more than five million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually into the atmosphere. That would make it one the largest single greenhouse gas emitters in Canada, according to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. The proposed facility is also expected to be one of the largest infrastructure investments in Canadian history.

What’s at stake: The Skeena River is a globally important wild salmon stronghold and Canada’s second largest wild salmon river. Home to some of the largest Chinook and steelhead ever recorded, the river’s combined tribal, recreational, and commercial fishing economy is worth $110 million a year.

Flora Bank hosts juvenile salmon from at least 40 distinct populations in and around the Skeena. One senior scientist called it a “Grand Central Station” for juvenile fingerlings, a place for them to hide from predators and adjust to salt water.  New research continues to underscore Flora Bank’s importance to Skeena salmon. Threatening this biological bottleneck would threaten the whole Skeena system.

The response: From Greg Knox, Executive Director of the SkeenaWild Conservation Trust

“This announcement is profoundly disappointing, but expected. The Federal government has failed the people of Canada by approving the largest climate emitter in Canadian history. This government is ignoring First Nations constitutional rights and has failed the people of the Skeena – putting our salmon at grave risk.

Now, we will take our fight to the next level. Over the last year, we have prepared, with our aboriginal partners, to launch a series of legal actions, and we are prepared to go all the way. Multiple other strategies are in play and under development. We also have economics on our side.

Adversity only brings us together and makes us strong. I am absolutely confident this project will never be built.”

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