LETTERS: Can’t rely on safety and benefits of LNG project

The ad is a crafty construct ... designed to soften up the unwary into looking favourably upon Steelhead LNG and their project.

In the PNR of Feb. 24, Steelhead LNG has an ad obliquely supporting their Bamberton LNG project. The main purpose of the ad is to promote LNG as safe, clean and reliable.

The ad is a crafty construct, likely one of a series, designed to soften up the unwary into looking favourably upon Steelhead LNG and their project.

By clouding the facts, they attempt to portray LNG itself and, by extension, any related projects, and even the production of natural gas, as safe and environmentally benign.

In their bizarre definition of LNG, they first point out it is “clean-burning natural gas” in a chilled and liquid form. Then they spin to LNG is “non-flammable … and non-explosive.”

Certainly, while contained as a liquid in giant thermos-flasks, without oxygen, LNG won’t burn or explode.  But, of course, cars and airplanes are completely safe while parked, bombs are harmless until detonated and gasoline is “non-flammable and non-explosive” until ignited.

Their line of reasoning about the safety of LNG is ludicrous and we should all feel insulted that they would try to buy off our concerns with such transparent nonsense.

Every year, buildings are blown to atoms by leaking natural gas.

In reality, regulations around shipping LNG in the United States call for very large safety zones around LNG tankers, restrict surface and air traffic in their vicinity and generally regard LNG tankers as a very high safety risk.

This is not because of their accident frequency — LNG tankers generally have a good safety record.

The high risk rating and strenuous safety regulations reflect the very large potential areas of devastation that can surround a damaged LNG tanker, even though it is carrying “non-flammable and non-explosive” methane.

If, out of the gate with their Malahat LNG promotional campaign, Steelhead LNG resorts to such deceptive “truthiness” and misuse of facts, what reliance can be placed in anything else they present as to the benefits and safety of this project?

Springfield Harrison, North Saanich