Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Oh behave!

Below my response is a letter to the editor of the Delta Optimist. It is written by PR Vice President, Doug Stout of FortisBC. The heading and article completely avoid discussion of air pollution due to LNG. Perhaps their argument is that when it's in the pipes it is in liquid form and not a gas. Obviously the discussion needed is about what happens to the LNG when it escapes and changes from the Liquid state to the gas state and expands.

Oh Behave!
There is a small ad in the Optimist with a heading; Oh Behave! I would like to suggest that be the comment for the various executives of FortisBC.

Last week Mr. Michael Mulcahy, the President and CEO of FortisBC wrote to tell us that the Tilbury LNG expansion was “good for the environment”. The most recent comments come from Doug Stout, the Vice President for External Relations (ie PR). In Fridays’ Optimist his letter to the editor is titled “LNG can’t contaminate water or soil”. In his article Mr. Stout actually tells us that LNG is non-toxic.

I expect Mr. Stout wants to convince us that this (predominantly methane) gas, either in the gaseous or liquid state is not harmful. This seems strange even coming from a person we assume has been trained in Public Relations. Methane gas-not harmful??

In a study conducted for the government of BC by the Pembina Institute it is made abundantly clear that all along the LNG production chain there is carbon pollution. “Assuming standard practices, one typical LNG Terminal and the associated shale gas development would result in 12 million tonnes (MT) of carbon pollution annually”. 30 per cent of this pollution would specifically take place at the terminal (ieTsawwassen). 4 million tonnes of carbon pollution right here in Tsawwassen. If you want to discuss the ENVIRONMENTAL effects of LNG gas this is what you will need to address.

Mr. Stout must be in the minority in his belief that because LNG is non-toxic it is not harmful or a pollutant. His ingenious comment is that “LNG….would disperse into the air not harming marine life”. Leaving out the little bit of information about what it will do to the air. Interesting. LNG is a gas and yet only potential harm to the soil or water is covered with this article. No mention at all about the possible effects to our air quality from this gas substance.

Please, FortisBC, show a little more respect for the intellect of the Optimist reader. Spin is just spin. If you really want to convince us how you will make this proposal safe or good for the environment you will need to do much better than these whimsical comments.

LNG can't contaminate water or soil

Editor: Re: LNG plant comes with too much risk, letter to the editor, Nov. 27 I would like to address Bill Sharkey's question about how the processing and transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are different from crude oil. The most important thing for people to know is LNG is non-corrosive, non-toxic, non-flammable and non-explosive. It cannot contaminate water or soil. In the past 50 years, LNG carriers have travelled 135,000 voyages and 240 million kilometres worldwide, and there has never been a major release of LNG from a carrier due to a collision, explosion, fire or hull failure. If LNG ever did contact water, it would float on the surface, and as it quickly warmed up, it would disperse into the air without harming marine life. Like our Tilbury LNG facility, which has safely operated since 1971, a facility on Tsawwassen First Nation lands would be built in a designated industrial area. The facility and any associated natural gas pipelines would be built to withstand natural hazards, including earthquakes and flooding. FortisBC's facilities and transmission system have excellent safety records because emergency preparedness is woven into our culture. It will be up to Tsawwassen First Nation members to determine if LNG is something they would like to see on their lands. We look forward to their decision. Doug Stout Vice President, Market Development and External Relations FortisBC - See more at: http://www.delta-optimist.com/opinion/letters/lng-can-t-contaminate-water-or-soil-.

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