Columns and Letters

Pieridae’s “Goldboro” Debacle

May 5, 2021

Dear Editor,
    What a vast majority of Canadians don’t realize is that we are on the hook for cleaning up billions (if not trillions) of dollars of environmental waste across the country. Industries continue dumping their waste into the laps of citizens, who are completely unaware of these massive and unpaid environmental bills. It is my belief that corporations should be required to post significant bonds before they start operations of any kind. These dedicated funds held in trust would be used to clean up any and all environmental messes should the corporation not be able to afford the cleanup once they have completed the extraction of whatever resources they obtained permits for. My premise is that the Canadian taxpayer should not be on the hook to clean up the environmental mess left behind by businesses that make significant profits and then walk away without cleaning up the mess they made. Big oil/gas corporations have abandoned thousands of drill sites that have not been capped properly so they continue to leak huge amounts of methane and other harmful greenhouse gases (GHGs).
    Founded in 2011, Pieridae, a majority Canadian-owned corporation based in Calgary, is focussed on the development of integrated energy-related activities, from the exploration and extraction of natural gas to the development, construction and operation of the Goldboro LNG facility and the production of LNG for sale to Europe and other markets. Pieridae’s stated plan is to use conventional and fracked gas, which is a prime culprit in this regard, send it through a pipeline to Goldboro, Nova Scotia, where it will be liquified and then transported to Europe for sale there. Besides the absolutely enormous negative environmental consequences for this project, Peridae has no confirmed end price deal at the other end, which is one more flaw in this bizarre scheme. CEO Alfred Sorensen has been trying to obtain financing for this $10 billion idea from almost anywhere he can including the Canadian federal government of which he is asking almost $1 billion.
    Ken Summers of the Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition said the proposal should be scrapped because LNG plants are notoriously large polluters. “If this project were to go ahead, Nova Scotia’s greenhouse gas emission targets would be gone out the window,” he said. We already have eight fossil fuel driven generating stations (four coal and four fuel oil) that need to be shut down sooner rather than later but this won’t happen until we can get more solar and wind generators online. The federal and provincial governments should be spending as much of our taxes on green energy development as possible, but definitely not liquid natural gas ones.
    Intelligent decisions are based on facts and past performance so when you take a look at what Pieridae’s performance is on the stock market right now and how Pieridae has done for the past several years in the market you will understand my lack of faith in their ability to perform.
    In order for Peiridae’s  “Goldboro” project to move ahead they petitioned the Province of Nova Scotia to re-route Hwy 316 around the proposed project site mainly for “safety” reasons. Minister Keith Irving has recently agreed to this which raises a lot of questions in my mind. Environment Minister Gordon Wilson said making room for a large emitter such as an LNG plant would make meeting emission reduction targets “challenging,” but “overall, greenhouse gas emissions are coming down in Nova Scotia.” (CBC) as if in some way trying to justify the idea of approving the “Goldboro” LNG project. Well yes, those emissions are coming down thanks to wind and solar installations that have been built in the last decade, but it is definitely not because of the decommissioning of fossil fuel fired and biomass generating stations. About the approval to re-route Highway 316 – does this mean the Pieridae “Goldboro” project has already been approved by our provincial government? 
    How are we going to reach our climate change goals if projects like Pieridae’s “Goldboro” project are even considered? This makes no sense to me whatsoever, especially when very knowledgeable people within the energy and financial industry are viewing this idea as a “boondoggle?” The public needs to research the issue and understand the future consequences of this decision and make their views well known.
    Joan Baxter has written a very thorough article about this same issue that I encourage you to read.
    Paul Strome
    Cheticamp


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