Hot Take: We won?!? A chance to stop rampant LNG exports

Boy do we ever need this. 

In the climate justice movement, there is slow, incremental progress and — let’s face it — a dizzying array of losses to contend with. 

But yesterday’s announcement that the U.S. is pausing LNG export permits is one to celebrate. It’s the result of intense organizing over YEARS by groups large and small, and it’s a genuine win. Getting the U.S. to say ‘no’ to the fossil fuel industry has been near impossible it’s no mean feat that today, the biggest fossil fuel expansion on Earth has been halted. 

Everyone who is working for climate justice deserves to take a big huge breath of relief. For everyone who is pouring their hearts into the struggle, especially Indigenous land defenders who, being on the receiving end of climate impacts, are also leaders on the frontlines of resistance: thank you. Y’all are champions, and we hope you can take courage in knowing that such a momentous change IS possible. 

Um… Canada… are you paying attention? Nations like Wet’wuwet’en and Gitxaała, who are smack in the path of a rampant uptick in LNG export infrastructure, sure are. 

In his killer analysis today on his Crucial Years substack, Bill McKibben takes down the argument for North American LNG export industry point by searing point: 

  • the export of LNG actually drives the price up for consumers. Shipping it overseas will create a false scarcity and thus, increase prices
  • the world doesn’t need North American LNG: it’s already swimming in cheap gas. In B.C., when you factor in the enormous subsidies we’ve given to industry, we’ll be selling it at a loss
  • the emissions from LNG are just outrageously unjustifiable: methane, which leaks at every point along the production line, is a potent greenhouse gas even dirtier than coal

But for RAVEN’s allies, there’s another set of reasons why we should be pushing B.C. — and Canada — to follow Biden’s lead.

  • heavy industry build-outs require the type of ‘man-camps’ that have been shown to be a leading driver of the MMIWG2S+ crisis
  • LNG infrastructure is being put in without the consent of Indigenous Nations whose (unceded) lands it is destroying
  • the rate of fracked gas expansion will blow Canada past our emissions reductions commitments that we sent in Paris – violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that guarantees everyone a right to ‘life, liberty, and the security of the person”. 

This last point may not read like an Indigenous concern, because it affects everyone. But it is Indigenous People — namely, hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation — who are taking on the responsibility to protect us all, with a fierce Charter challenge that was just given the green light to take to the next stage of trial. 

Oh, Canada… When will you stop spewing platitudes about reconciliation and climate action, and start taking the lead from Indigenous Nations whose laws hold so many keys to our collective survival??? We hope Trudeau will realize the climate justice movement is only going to heat up (pun intended), and that millions of people really, really care about climate action here in Canada, and want to see a government who isn’t afraid to take meaningful action against unchecked extractive industry. But until then? 

Canada: we’ll see you in court. 

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