Environment featured

Letter: The “Goldboro” boondoggle

An LNG plant nearing completion in Australia. This plant is smaller than the projected first phase of the Goldboro LNG plant.

Canada is the only G7 country that is still emitting GHG emissions way above 1990 levels at 21% more. Compare that to the US which is on par with its 1990 levels, the 27 EU countries that are 25% below 1990 levels or the UK which is at 42% below 1990 levels and it’s evident that Canada’s climate policy isn’t working and we have been moving in the wrong direction

Nova Scotia is a huge part of Canada’s climate change response. We have eight fossil fuel-driven generating stations (four coal, four fuel oil and two biomass) that need to be transitioned off sooner rather than later, but this won’t happen until we can get more solar and wind generators online. What would be even more sensible would be to have the Atlantic Loop in place so that all the Atlantic provinces would be electrified by green energy.

There are fossil fuel corporations that want to get the Canadian taxpayer to fund their projects while we are all trying to get off of fossil fuels. Pieridae, a majority Canadian owned corporation based in Calgary is one of those companies. Pieridae’s stated plan is to use mainly fracked gas from Alberta and Pennsylvania and send it through a pipeline to Goldboro, Nova Scotia where it will be liquefied and then transported to Europe for sale there. Besides the absolutely enormous negative environmental consequences for this project,  Pieridae has no confirmed end price deal at the other end which is one more flaw in this bizarre scheme. CEO Alfred Sorensen has been trying to obtain financing for this $10 billion idea from almost anywhere he can including the Canadian federal government of which he is asking almost $1 Billion.

See also: Goldboro LNG asks Feds for a billion-dollar subsidy

The Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition said “If this project were to go ahead, Nova Scotia’s greenhouse gas emission targets would be gone out the window,”. 

In order for the  “Goldboro” project to move ahead Pieridae petitioned Nova Scotia to reroute Hwy 316 around the proposed project site mainly for “safety” reasons. Minister Keith Irving recently agreed to this. 

Environment Minister Gordon Wilson said making room for a large emitter such as a Liquid Natural Gas plant would make meeting emission reduction targets “challenging,” but “overall, greenhouse gas emissions are coming down in Nova Scotia.” Yes, those emissions are coming down extremely slowly thanks only to wind and solar installations that have been built in the last decade but it is definitely not because of the decommissioning of fossil fuel fired and biomass generating stations.

We will not be able to reach our national climate change goals while initiatives like Pieridae’s Goldboro  project are even considered. This makes no sense to me whatsoever, especially when very knowledgeable people within the energy and financial industry are viewing this idea as a ‘boondoggle’. The public needs to research the issue and understand the future consequences of this decision and make their views well known to every politician in sight.

Paul Strome B.A., B.Ed., David Suzuki Elder

Antigonish, Nova Scotia

See also: Mi’kmaq grassroots women say no to Goldboro LNG man camp

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