Citizens tell Woodfibre LNG: No fracking way!

Opposition to Woodfibre LNG and the FortisBC pipeline continues after eight years


Unceded Sḵwx̱wú7mesh territory (SQUAMISH, BC) — Woodfibre LNG and FortisBC appeared as a delegation before the District of Squamish on Tuesday to provide project updates.

The delegation was met by approximately 25 citizens, chanting "No Fracking Way!" in a snap action led by Melyssa Hudson, one of the co-founders of My Sea to Sky.

"As a mom with two young children, I am genuinely frightened for their future. We are already experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change. Last year, hundreds of people died in the Heat Dome, and tens of thousands of people were evacuated due to wildfires or floods. We cannot build new fossil fuel infrastructure like Woodfibre LNG that will increase fracking and lock in climate pollution for decades."

Eoin Finn, co-founder and Research Director of My Sea to Sky, hand-delivered a petition to Woodfibre LNG staff signed by more than 20,400 people calling to stop Woodfibre LNG and the associated Eagle Mountain to Woodfibre high-pressure gas pipeline proposed by FortisBC.

"We've been fighting to stop Woodfibre LNG and the FortisBC pipeline for over eight years. We have successfully delayed these projects since 2015, and we're not giving up. We will stop Woodfibre LNG. We will stop FortisBC. We are fighting for the future of our grandchildren."

My Sea to Sky is a people-powered environmental organization that was founded by Átl’ḵa7tsem / Howe Sound citizens concerned about the local and regional impacts of Woodfibre LNG, which will increase fracking, lock in climate pollution, and puts residents that live along the proposed pipeline route in Squamish and Coquitlam, or near the LNG carrier route in Howe Sound or English Bay at risk.

While oil and gas companies including Woodfibre LNG are opportunistically pointing to the Russia-Ukraine War as an excuse to increase fracking and LNG exports, this crisis instead highlights the extreme price volatility of oil and gas, as well as the vulnerability of fossil fuel infrastructure to targeted attacks. In response, the European Commission plans to rapidly scale up renewables and energy efficiency measures, divesting from gas to ensure future energy security.

"Fracked gas is risky, it's expensive, and it will always remain volatile depending on global markets. Building new gas infrastructure like Woodfibre LNG or FortisBC's pipeline will only entrench global dependence on fossil fuels at a time when we need to invest in renewable energy," said Finn. "Woodfibre LNG will not be operational until at least 2027 or later. Will there still be a market for BC's LNG in five years? Unlikely."

A recent report urged all nations to begin a rapid phaseout of fossil fuel production, calling on Canada as a wealthy, high-emitting nation to end all oil and gas production by 2034 to ensure that warming does not exceed 1.5°C.

My Sea to Sky is one of more than 350+ diverse organizations and businesses that have signed an open letter calling on the BC government to confront the climate emergency and undertake ten urgent climate actions. We reiterate our support for these actions, and call on the BC government to immediately stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure like Woodfibre LNG and FortisBC's Eagle Mountain to Woodfibre gas pipeline.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Tracey Saxby, Executive Director, My Sea to Sky
Phone: (604) 892-7501

Eoin Finn, Research Director, My Sea to Sky
Phone: (604) 715-7991

Background information

  • Woodfibre LNG is a proposed LNG export facility located southwest of Squamish in Átl’ḵa7tsem / Howe Sound. While the project has received an environmental assessment certificate, and was granted a five-year extension in 2020, it still needs several outstanding permits to proceed, including an amendment to its environmental assessment certificate to build a floating workcamp to house 500-600 construction workers.

  • The project is owned by the notorious Indonesian businessman, Sukanto Tanoto, whose companies have a history of tax evasion and profit shifting, human rights violations, and animal rights violations.

  • Woodfibre LNG intended to begin construction in 2015, however the project has been delayed for over seven years due to significant local opposition coordinated by My Sea to Sky and partnering organizations. The project has also been plagued by ongoing corruption and high staff turnover.

  • Woodfibre LNG made a fake Final Investment Decision (FID) in November 2016, two days prior to the BC Liberal convention, and two weeks after Sukanto Tanoto and Rich Coleman signed secret documents that the government still refuses to release. This brings into question the reliability of Woodfibre LNG’s public statements, and whether future FID announcements are to be considered reliable or genuine.

  • FortisBC proposes to build a 24-inch high pressure pipeline from Coquitlam to the Woodfibre site. This includes digging a 14-foot wide, 9 km long tunnel underneath the Squamish estuary that will result in permanent acid rock drainage and treatment, similar to Britannia Mine, which was one of the worst environmental disasters in Canada’s history.

  • FortisBC plans to expand Tilbury LNG on the Fraser River in Vancouver, which is currently undergoing an environmental assessment. This makes FortisBC one of Woodfibre LNG's competitors in a global market that is rapidly evaporating.

  • A recent report from The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) forecast that Woodfibre LNG and other proposed LNG projects would be unlikely to proceed as LNG Canada is not economically viable. "Due to markets shifts, rising costs and policy changes, Phase I of the LNG Canada export terminal could be the last liquefied natural gas project built in British Columbia under current market dynamics..."

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