The Root Word: ForestEthics Blog

Environmental impact rises as dreams of BC's energy future take off; social license remains a challenge

Jun 21, 2012

Karen Tam Wu from ForestEthics Advocacy reacts to Premier Clark and Lorraine Mitchelmore, Shell Canada President, speaking at Business Council of BC Conference on BC’s energy future in Vancouver

Premier Clark and energy companies are praising the tsunami of development in our province, in particular pipelines and natural gas that are being proposed for northern BC. They are turning a blind eye to the impacts all the projects will collectively have in the region and how these companies will gain social license from communities for these developments.

There have been no studies to assess these projects collectively to paint the picture of total electricity demands of the proposed liquefied gas plant (LNG) plants, watershed impacts of multiple pipelines, air pollution from the gas plants and oil terminals, and overall increase in tanker traffic through the Great Bear Rainforest to Asia.

Some of the companies proposing the projects have questionable reputations in the region and will find obtaining social license challenging. Protests against Shell erupted when the company proposed to drill for coalbed methane in the Sacred Headwaters.

You can't buy respect, you have to earn it. Shell can start by walking away from the Sacred Headwaters.

Today, ForestEthics Advocacy along with a group of conservation organizations sent a letter to the Asian partners Shell has enlisted to build a LGN in Kitimat to let them know the history of the company with whom they're collaborating.

To have any hope of building its LNG plant in Kitimat, Shell needs to demonstrate the company truly listens to communities, and understands that sometimes ‘no’ really means no.

Opposition to Shell’s proposal to drill for gas at the headwaters of the Skeena, Nass, and Stikine Rivers, three major salmon rivers, resulted in a 4-year moratorium on Shell’s operations. This moratorium expires in December.

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