Luutkudziiwus First Nation on Petronas Cancelling PNW LNG project
August 14, 2017
Mohd Anuar bin Taib, Executive Vice President and CEO of Upstream at Petronas announced cancellation of the Pacific NorthWest LNG (PNW) project on July 25th.
In light of that decision, Richard Wright, who serves as the spokesperson for the Luutkudziiwus, says “the federal government breached its constitutional obligations to consult and our court challenge to quash the approval order still stands.”
Wright further notes, “In the wake of the cancellation of the Petronas LNG project, we call on our neighbors and allies to continue the battle against LNG, especially in Treaty 8 in northeast BC, where fracking has increased substantially in 2017. The fracked gas from Montney Basin is now being piped to and liquefied on the US Gulf coast, then shipped to Asia.”
According to Wright, “It is time to keep BC and Alberta gas and oil in the ground. We are cooking the planet and ourselves, and for what; so multi-national fossil fuel companies can make more profits. One solution is for First Nations to work together to restrict development
and initiate rehabilitation of the massive social, cultural, and environmental damage resulting from the gas and oil development in northeast BC and the Alberta Tar Sands.”
It has been three years since Luutkudziiwus First Nation began blocking unauthorized government tenures, including the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) pipeline proposed by TransCanada. PRGT was proposed to pipe fracked gas from northeast BC to the Prince Rupert area. The federal government and Petronas have refused to recognize Luutkudziiwus and their constitutionally protected Aboriginal fishing rights.
The Nexen – Aurora and the ExxonMobil / Imperial Oil – WCC LNG schemes proposed for the Prince Rupert area are currently in the environmental assessment processes. The LNG plants are anticipated to pipe fracked gas through Luutkudziiwus’s Madii Lii territory. Wright “maintains that we are not going anywhere, we will persist in asserting our rights in order to pushback LNG development, and we will continue to move our sustainable economic development initiatives forward.”
Though the cancellation of the PNW LNG plant brings hope, we cannot let it distract us from the many proposals of pipelines, fracking, and processing plants on Indigenous territory in BC and Alberta. On Luutkudziiwus territory, the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission LNG pipeline is still proposed, despite the cancellation of the Petronas plant. Wright says: “We must not let this distract us from stopping this pipeline.”
Despite cancelling the PNW LNG project, Petronas and its partners in Progress Energy are still committed to their Montney Basin fracked gas assets and production. Wright anticipates Luutkudziiwus will be taking action to help keep the Montney Basin gas in the ground in order to address climate change and its adverse effects on people, lands, waters, and resources.
Wright hopes people, governments, and industry will realize that climate change is already having significant and harmful effects on our communities, our health, and our climate. Madii Lii will remain and Luutkudziiwus will continue to prevent LNG development through court cases and occupation of our territory for the sake of passing on a better world for future generations.