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After years of climate and Indigenous-led opposition to East Coast liquified natural gas (LNG), energy giant Pieridae Energy is giving up on its Goldboro project.

In a corporate update this week, the Calgary-based company said it intends to sell off its Goldboro assets, which include licences and permits to 267 acres of coastal land in Nova Scotia that for years was slated as a future location for an LNG export terminal. The company plans to use the cash to pay off a $20-million loan due by the end of next year.

Pieridae said once it offloads its Goldboro assets, that will “mark the conclusion of [its] strategic pivot away from East Coast LNG and toward an Alberta-focused natural gas production and processing business.”

The announcement is a bruise for proponents of East Coast LNG development but represents a major win for climate and Indigenous-led advocacy against the fossil fuel’s expansion.

“This project has flailed for many years now, and the company even had the audacity to request a billion in federal money even as we were still dealing with the impacts of COVID,” national programs director with Sierra Club Canada Foundation Gretchen Fitzgerald told Canada’s National Observer. “The active opposition from Mi'kmaw Grassroots Grandmothers to the establishment of man camps in the rural area where it was to be located showed how unwelcome this project was in a province that had already successfully mobilized to stop fracking.

“When fracking was proposed in the neighbouring province of New Brunswick as a possible source of fossil gas for the Goldboro plant, there was a similar successful opposition,” she added. “I think given the climate emergency and the strength of the local community and Indigenous rights holders to oppose it, the project is finally dead even if another purchaser is unwise enough to attempt to restart it.”

Pieridae long struggled to overcome the challenging economics of building LNG in Atlantic Canada. Unlike in Western Canada, which is closer to natural gas fields that enjoy political support, in Eastern Canada, extracting gas has been successfully opposed. Without gas to extract, an export terminal would need to pipe the gas across the country from Western Canada where it would have to pass through Quebec — an unlikely prospect reminiscent of the failed Energy East pipeline. Moreover, the business case for East Coast LNG has always been contingent on selling to Europe, which has many options for cheaper LNG.

Beyond the specific economics of Goldboro LNG, the future of the fossil fuel was clearly spelled out by the International Energy Agency in a recent forecast. Demand for all fossil fuels, including gas, is set to peak this decade at the same time several new LNG facilities are being built, representing a glut of supply.

The planet-warming power of LNG is also becoming better understood, making it more challenging to build LNG facilities in an era of decarbonization needed to prevent catastrophic global warming. Traditionally, fossil fuels were understood on a spectrum of bad to worse, with coal burning being the poster child for excessive greenhouse gas emissions. But a growing body of scientific evidence shows when methane leaks that occur when natural gas is extracted and transported are accounted for, the fuel is clearly a problem for the atmosphere and could be worse than burning coal itself.

"I think given the climate emergency and the strength of the local community and Indigenous rights holders to oppose it, the project is finally dead even if another purchaser is unwise enough to attempt to restart it.” — @GreenMission #cdnpoli

While true that burned natural gas emits less carbon dioxide than coal, natural gas is primarily made up of methane — a potent greenhouse gas with 84 to 87 times more warming potential over 20 years than CO2. Even though methane breaks down faster in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, it traps more heat, making it a priority area for near-term emissions reductions. Climate scientists have warned that short-term, steep emissions reductions are needed to avoid crossing dangerous tipping points that would lock in devastating climate impacts.

A report published in June by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-NS in partnership with the think tank's B.C. office and the Corporate Mapping Project found Atlantic Canada is at a crossroads for energy development. Nearly 20 major extractive projects have been proposed since 2010, and many of those projects have been defeated by opposition groups.

In Nova Scotia, where this summer’s wildfires prompted thousands to evacuate, the Alton Gas project was cancelled in 2021 after strong Mi'kmaw opposition. There is a moratorium on fracking in the province, which followed public pushback, and also a pause in Newfoundland and Labrador. In neighbouring New Brunswick, a moratorium has been in place since 2014 after huge opposition and protests from Indigenous supporters — many from Elsipogtog First Nation — and other opponents. And while Premier Blaine Higgs has recently said he wants to expand fracking regardless of the moratorium, First Nations have said they are prepared to push back again.

— With files from Cloe Logan

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I'm going to award 1% of this victory to the Indigenous, another 1% to climate protesters, then 20% to interest rates, and a clear 78% to Vladimir Putin making the EU scramble to get off gas. By the time the plant was built, the EU wouldn't be a market.

Technically, that 78% would go to the US for blowing up Nordstream 2 (and pressuring the EU not to buy from it in the first place). Even now, Putin would LIKE to sell gas to the Europeans. I'd say there's a decent chance that by the time Russia finishes winning the war and things settle down enough for the Europeans to be willing to buy again (which could take some time) they won't even need the stuff.

Nah, see your point but disagree; the USA would have let Putin and EU go on burning carbon 'till the cows came... well, 'till the cows burned to death in a forest fire, and never got home.

If they'd blown up Nordstream 2 in 2021, just for climate reasons, *THAT* would collect some credit.

The idea was doomed either way, of course: the war means the 2030 EU gas market will be dead, but without the war, the 2035 market would still have been dead, and those facilities take decades to pay off - arguably Putin/Nordstrom have saved investors from making an awful mistake.

It's hard to find a climate benefit to war........but you've done your best. The bigger take away may be that LNG never was economic. The BIG PROJECT mindset persists because anything that takes years to build, makes money for the builders. Plus in general, they get much of that money from tax dollars. They are subsidized.

The fantasy that fracked fossil gas could be liquified, put in pipelines under enough pressure to liquify it, send it to coastal facilities that maintain its liquid state (perhaps by magic!!) long enough to load it on ships that use bunker fuel to transport it to the other side of the earth..........where it is distributed widely, and burned cleanly......TO SAVE THE PLANET...makes the ubiquitous tooth fairy look like small change by comparison.

Well she is small change, and totally renewable....those tooth sidewalks in fairy land hurt no one...and do their small part to turn our kids into capitalists.

The LNG fairy tale, in contrast, is a Gawd Damned Lie. Brought to us by the most Criminal organizations on Earth. Fossil Gas saves nothing. It's just one more delay tactic, much like Carbon Capture.

One small caveat though: We don't need proxy wars or genocides to transition off Fossil Fuels. We need more vision. A peaceful world is possible....clean energy is distributed, and everywhere.

But we need to listen to journalists like this one: We need to connect the dots between modern warfare and the continuation of dirty energy....and decide once and for all, that we want neither.

CeasefireNow: in Gaza and everywhere else that fossil fueled bombs are still falling.

Russia is NOT winning the war. Their military capability has been cut in half from a nearly stalemated conflict where Ukraine's losses are nowhere near the same rate. Ukraine, a much smaller but greatly motivated nation, could have driven the Russian occupation force out earlier if its Western backers had not temporarily fallen for Putin's smirking threats to use nukes, and thus limited their already inadequate arms deliveries accordingly. He's made that threat some 200 times in the past 629 days.

The West has finally figured it out -- Putin will not use nukes because Russia will be obliterated overnight if it did, and that's without retaliating in kind with nuclear weapons. Russia is weak, its economy is shot (they're running out of foreign reserves now), half it's military capability is gone, 315,000 of its young men have perished in brutal "meat wave" attacks in Ukraine, and its Western-built petroleum industry is rusting and sclerotic.

All this is important because Russia used to be the No. 2 supplier of oil and gas to the world. No longer. But the calls by some Western idiots to negotiate a ceasefire and let Putin keep the lands he first bombed to hell (Mariupol -- 100,000+ civilians killed, thousands of its children kidnapped and exported to Russia, a city reduced to rubble -- is now a model of what Russian "liberation" looks like) stems from irrational fear and timidity. The idiots can't seem to fathom that Putin's habitual modus operandi is to regroup, rearm and start another war in five, six, maybe eight years, this time by bombing innocent citizens in Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and onwards.

Last winter Russia bombed Ukrainian electricity infrastructure and tried to freeze the population to death. It didn't work, thanks in part to a mild winter, but mainly because Ukraine is too big for Russia to manage and Ukrainians are very resilient. Ukraine still stands tall after all their losses and civilian buildings destroyed and has, so far, resisted bombing Russian civilian infrastructure in retaliation. However, Ukraine stated last week that, if its domestic power plants are once again targeted this winter, it is prepared to destroy Russia's last few remaining pipelines to the EU, one in particular that runs under the Black Sea and through Bulgaria and Serbia to Hungary. Ukraine is also starting to build decentralized solar energy projects while securing an electricity supply from the EU through Moldova.

In my view, Russia must be defeated and kicked out of all Ukrainian territory. If the loudmouth Western idiocy succeeds in arrogantly organizing a "ceasefire" in Ukraine without Ukraine's participation, there will be another war a lot closer to NATO than this one, probably within a decade. Putin's stated intent is to recreate the Russian Empire, and is on record for praising Stalin and bemoaning the loss of the "great" CCCP. Just ask people in the Baltics, Poland, Germany or Romania or practically any level-headed 20th Century historian how great that was. It would be no surprise if, one day, these are the nations that join Ukraine to fight Russian expansionism with or without NATO should some Western leaders capitulate to Russian threats, energy blackmail and lies.

Going green in Europe is indeed a legitimate way to help defeat Russia's oil hegemony and fight climate change. But defensive military action is still necessary, unfortunately, to defend democracy against a murderous bully. We are now seeing the beginning of the downslide of fossil fuel demand everywhere as renewables bring on gigawatts of new power every year. These things will benefit civilization in the end.

Goddess bless the activists of Atlantic Canada. I remember attending a meeting where one of the activists from the New Brunswick indigenous resistance spoke...and that was at least a decade ago. It is heart warming to learn that they succeeded. At the time, I thought their chances were slim, but they should be more widely celebrated, as examples of what we can achieve............if we truly love our land, refuse to give up....and play the long game.

Both war and fossil fuels have to be stopped......relegated to a barbarous history. Let's be part of that essential transition.