The Trudeau government is a major obstacle to Canada sending LNG to Europe


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If Justin Trudeau sees no economic justification for exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe, it may be because of the actions of his own government. While Germany, the Netherlands and other European allies have sought alternative sources of natural gas to end dependence on Russia, Canada has been virtually absent.

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This week German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was in Canada to explain why we should sell LNG to his country. He said Germany must move away from dependence on Russia « at lightning speed ».

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“We hope Canadian LNG will play a major role in this,” Scholz said.

This is the same thing that has been done by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and others, since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s thugs began their invasion of Ukraine in late February. Despite personal pleas from these world leaders, Trudeau has only paid lip service to this issue.

With Scholz in Canada this week, Trudeau was again asked directly about the problem and attributed it to a lack of economy.

« There’s never been a solid business case, » Trudeau said Monday, noting the distance between where the gas is and where export terminals could be built.

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A bigger problem is his government’s determination to move Canada and the world away from fossil fuels, even in the face of war and even when the fuel in question – LNG – would displace other higher-emitting fuels. For Trudeau, nothing will stand between him and what he sees as the right decision on climate action – other than limiting his own travel.

Since his government took office in 2015, regulators who control much of Canada’s oil and gas sector have been dragging their feet in approving more than a dozen proposed LNG export terminals. There have been companies ready to set up the infrastructure on both coasts and even in Quebec, Trudeau’s home province, but the government still stands in the way.

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Or, reject the proposals outright.

They refused the Énergie Saguenay project on February 7, days before Putin’s invasion and at a time when the world was talking about the need to replace Russian gas. It was a plan to ship Canadian LNG to Europe, but – after long delays due to government measures – was rejected over fears of increased greenhouse gas emissions.

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Even those who want us to end the use of all fossil fuels know that it won’t happen overnight. This is why the Biden administration and the British government both decided to increase their natural gas exports to Europe once the war in Ukraine started.

These governments are as committed to meeting climate change goals as Trudeau, and yet they still saw that providing an alternative to Russian gas was the right thing to do. Every day that Germany and other European countries continue to import Russian gas is another day that they continue to fill Putin’s coffers and fund the war against Ukraine.

Yet, as is often the case, Trudeau has a lot of big words and little action.

« On Ukraine’s Independence Day, and every day, we will continue to stand with our Ukrainian friends whose home is under attack, » Trudeau said in a video Thursday.

Just don’t ask him to supply oil or natural gas to European countries, which are forced to depend on Russian energy and fund Putin’s war.

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