Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. LNG Minister Says 'We're Not Afraid' of Federal Environmental Tests

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. LNG Minister Says 'We're Not Afraid' of Federal Environmental Tests

Article excerpt

B.C. LNG minister heads to Ottawa for talks

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VICTORIA - British Columbia's minister in charge of liquefied natural gas is heading to Ottawa for talks on how the federal government's promised changes to environmental reviews will impact the province's plans for a multibillion dollar LNG industry.

"We're not afraid, frankly," Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman said Tuesday. "We're the guys who put in the carbon tax. We've been ahead of this curve. We've put in rules to make our LNG the cleanest in the world."

Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr has said his government will soon announce changes to the environmental approval process for oil and gas projects. He has said there will be a transition period for projects under review and no proponent will be asked to return to square one.

There were reports Tuesday that the changes will include a separate test to determine impacts on Canada's greenhouse gas emissions, which will apply to several projects under review, including Pacific NorthWest's planned LNG export terminal in northern B.C.

Coleman said he hasn't seen details of the federal Liberals' plans, but he expects B.C.'s current environmental regulations to meet any existing or new emissions standards.

"We believe we can always get better, but there is a lot of common ground here," he said.

He will travel to Ottawa next week to meet with Carr and is arranging a meeting with Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. Premier Christy Clark is also scheduled to be in Ottawa next week.

B.C.'s Environment Minister Mary Polak is expected to be in Ottawa Wednesday to meet with federal politicians.

Coleman said B.C. passed legislation that requires LNG operations to meet emissions benchmarks or face penalties. But environmental groups say B.C. won't meet its targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions one-third below 2007 levels by 2020. …

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