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Banking on LNG as a path to prosperity — at what cost? – National Observer

January 12th 2024

For some First Nations, the choice between economic self-sufficiency and environmental and climate concerns has arrived at a crossroads as the Coastal GasLink pipeline nears operation, critics say.

Coastal GasLink, the disputed pipeline opposed by Wet’suwet’en hereditary leadership, reached mechanical completion in November. It will soon carry millions of dollars worth of liquified natural gas (LNG) to floating facilities on the northern coast of British Columbia for exports to Asia. First Nations are emerging as key players in the West Coast gas boom lauded by Ottawa and Victoria. Floating LNG facilities are already proposed by the Nis’ga and Haisla Nations, while other nations are sitting on major prospective gas fields.

The coastal nations are counting on LNG to uplift their communities after 150 years of impoverishment and degraded social conditions unleashed by colonial policies and land dispossession. However, they face criticism from environmentalists and other regional First Nations for the climate and environmental consequences of a massive expansion of new gas infrastructure.

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