The National Energy Board has ruled against a local Smithers resident’s challenge of the provincial government’s approval of the Coastal GasLink pipeline project.
Retired Environmental Consultant Mike Sawyer filed an application with the National Energy Board challenging the jurisdiction of BC to approve the project, believing it should have been assessed and permitted under federal jurisdiction.
“It was an error of law that considered the pipeline in provincial jurisdiction,” said Sawyer.
CGL said in a news release they are pleased that the National Energy Board found the project to be provincially based.
Sawyer said he is in talks with his legal counsel for the next steps and it is likely they will appeal the decision.
“Not surprised. This is a classic David and Goliath fight, and I am going up against a $40-billion project both levels of government have approved enthusiastically.”
“We are now at the point where the federal government has declared a climate change emergency, and yet we are approving and building projects that are going to be very significant in increasing our greenhouse gas emissions.”
His challenge is based on the 1998 Supreme Court of Canada Westcoast decision and 2017 decision of the Federal Court of Appeal where Sawyer argued a similar case for a natural gas project in Prince Rupert.
The CGL pipeline, in partnership with LNG, is estimated to generate $23-billion in public revenue over the next 40 years.
It is a single-line natural gas pipeline and will transport natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to LNG Canada’s facility in Kitimat.
The project is facing opposition from the Wet’suwet’en First Nation and its clans whose territory the pipeline will go through.