Gazoduq Pipeline: Just Say Non!

On Tuesday — the day after the federal election — the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada invited the public, and specifically Indigenous groups, to provide feedback on a controversial 780-kilometre natural gas pipeline between northeastern Ontario and Quebec’s Saguenay region.

The Gazoduq pipeline is a key element of a $14-billion mega-project that intends to provide a permanent path for natural gas exploited in the West to be exported in the East.

You have three weeks to weigh in on a proposed gas pipeline
National Observer, October 23rd.

Pipelines?  But It’s 2019!

The  deadline has been extended to November 22, 2019, giving us a little longer to comment.

Here are the 495 comments so far.   The more comments they get, the better.

If you care about the climate, just say no!  (Or non!)

Just Say NO to the Gazoduq Pipeline!

What’s it all about?

Fracked Alberta “Natural Gas” brought east through the TC Energy Pipeline (formerly known as TransCanada), will be diverted into the brand new Five Billion Dollar Gazoduc Pipeline at Kirkland Lake, Ontario.

The Gazoduc Pipeline would carry 1.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to its customer, the planned GNL Québec Nine Billion Dollar Énergie Saguenay facility which will liquify the fossil fuel. The resulting LNG will be loaded onto massive tankers that sail through the Saguenay Fjord to the St Lawrence River enroute to hypothetical overseas markets.

pipeline under constructionThe proposed 780-kilometre underground pipeline would pass near or through Indigenous territories as it carries the fossil fuel across forests, ecologically sensitive wetlands and protected provincial areas.

Map showing the pipeline route
The proposed Gazoduc Pipeline (purple) travels from Northern Ontario across Quebec. The Indigenous nations it will pass near or through are listed in green.

Promises, Promises

The Gazoduq project promises to take into account the habitats and species “likely to be designated as threatened or vulnerable.”

Which sounds good until you consider this is not a promise to do no harm.   This project will introduce enormous tankers quadruple the size of the largest vessels currently using the Fjord (for whale watching).

LNG Tankers will ship out through the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park

These tankers will be sailing through the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, which was established to protect marine life, including the endangered beluga whale population.

The Gazoduq project promises to “set a new benchmark in the LNG industry for environmental performance.

Which really only means it has to be less invasive than previous LNG projects.  The idea here is that the Quebec hydro electricity they expect to use to liquify the fracked natural gas won’t be as nad as burning natural gas to liquify it.

Nevermind that the LNG this project produces will be burnt. Just not here.

It doesn’t matter where in the world we are adding GHGs, they all go into the same atmosphere. And let’s not forget that shipping a cargoes of fracked LNG across the ocean itself generates GHGs.

The Gazoduq project promises it “will help reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

Funny claim to make about an industry that exists to increase our use of fossil fuels.  It seems to be based on the unproven assumption the fracked gas shipped to other parts of the world will displace coal and fuel oil.

Even if you believe these companies will try to do this, what happens when coal and fuel oil generated electricity has been eliminated?  Pipelines are expected to last at least 50 years.  Does anyone believe it will close its doors and go home? Especially if it’s only been operating for a decade or two.

The Gazoduq project promises it has “low potential for social and environmental impacts.”

Like “two scoops of raisins,” “low potential” could mean anything.

The construction alone will have an impact, with the introduction of problematic “man camps” as it travels near and through the territory of dozens of First Nations.

Economists don’t think much of the pipeline project’s promise of jobs.  Adding insult to injury:

Remarkably, the project will be eligible for Hydro-Quebec’s electricity rebate, amounting to an indirect subsidy of at least $43 million over six years. This is $7 million more than the $36 million that Gazoduq intends to donate, over the project lifespan, to communities in Quebec and Ontario affected by the pipeline.

An open letter on GNL Québec: A pipe dream of another Québec pipeline

The Gazoduq project promises that:

“Natural gas is not like oil. Lighter than air, it rises and then quickly disperses in the atmosphere without leaving a trace.”

Without a trace?

Tell that to the climate.

Image Credits:
Public Domain image “Saguenay Mountain Fjord” by cleprovost

Gazoduq Map:
based on Quebec province transportation and cities map by Eric Gaba released under a Creative Commons Attribution Sharalike 4.0 International License 
Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park by by Parcs Canada
Laughing Beluga by Steve Snodgrass released under s Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

2 thoughts on “Gazoduq Pipeline: Just Say Non!

  1. My First Comment never appeared, so I posted a second one, which posted today, so maybe people can keep posting comments today. Here’s mine:

    Just Say Non!

    We are in the midst of a Climate Emergency. This is a terrible plan that should not go ahead.

    We know we need to transition off fossil fuel use if our children are to have a livable future. If we are to have a livable future.

    During the 2019 Federal Election, Prime Minister Trudeau made the commitment to establish legally-binding five-year targets, and reduce our GHG emissions enough to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

    That’s why there is no real business argument for investing in fossil fuel infrastructure. Many of those whose assets are tied up in fossil fuels are divesting. Those who aren’t will be left holding the bag later, because pipelines with a 50-70 year lifespan are going to end up being stranded decades early. Either because we’ve enjoyed good governance, whereby our government developed policy necessary to facilitate the necessary transition to sustainable energy sources. Or because our government has failed to manage a just transition, and our civilization has collapsed as a result.

    The idea that keeping the GHG emissions low in Canada somehow makes this project environmentally friendly is nonsense, when the LNG they are manufacturing is intended to be burned elsewhere. It doesn’t matter where GHGs are emitted; they all go into the same environment.

    The proposed 780-kilometre underground pipeline would pass near or through Indigenous territories as it carries the fossil fuel across forests, ecologically sensitive wetlands and protected provincial areas. Even if we weren’t facing climate catastrophe, this pipeline will be putting problematic “man camps” in Indigenous territories and the LNG produced in Saguenay will be shipped in Massive tankers (four times the size of the current marine traffic through the Saguenay Fjord) to the St Lawrence River.

    These enormous ships will travel through the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park ( which is supposed to protect the whales, dolphins, seals, salmon etc, adding additional pressure to threaten the viability of the already endangered Beluga whales.

    Why not encourage sustainable energy production instead?

    Please don’t do this. Say “NO.”

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