March 6: Met with Spectra Energy representatives to provide information and concerns relative to their proposed natural gas transmission line from the North Peace to Prince Rupert. The line is projected to enter our territory just a few meters west of the Peace River bridge at Hudson’s Hope and proceed in a generally southerly direction passing Cameron Lake a few kilometers to the west and entering our Pine Valley just opposite the Pine River Gas Plant.
If undertaken, this gas line will be just one more industrial presence in the Pine Valley. Spectra proposes to keep to the north of the River and exit the Chetwynd watershed at the height of land east of Mackenzie. Yes, we shared our interest in keeping our drinking water pure and clean and I expect that the implications for our watershed are of less concern than the implications of a tanker truck dumping its load in the river – a very real possibility given the number of trucks passing through the congested Pine Pass each day.
March 6: I spent further quality information-gathering time at the Spectra open house. Wish you were there.
March 7: Participated in a day-long working group reviewing the hopes and plans of Cardero Coal, the mining company proposing to open a coal mine in the Carbon Creek drainage area about 70 kilometers up the Johnson Creek Forestry Road. Cardero is making progress on its Environmental Assessment and I was comforted by the quality of the scrutiny the company is getting from the various federal and provincial regulatory agencies. Plans at this stage show the high-quality coking coal being barged up Williston Lake to Mackenzie and loaded there on the train for Ridley Island. Destination: the Far East. I was also comforted by the experience, professionalism, and thorough work being done by Cardero.
March 25: Time and place to be announced. Coastal Gaslink is proposing a gas pipeline from Groundbirch to Kitimat connecting North-East resources to a gas liquefaction plant to feed the appetites of Far-Eastern consumers. I managed to get an open house scheduled for Chetwynd (we were originally bypassed) and I encourage you to mark March 25 on your calendar and watch for time and place. Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with the proponents and express your desires.
As you can see, Chetwynd seems to be the top of the funnel directing North-East energy to off-shore destinations. Geography has dictated our role and we can’t avoid it. But we have to speak up in defense of our rivers, mountains, ranchlands, and wilderness, to get the best of all possible mitigation, to avoid being caught in the vortex of the funnel.
No, I am not opposed to industry. This country thrives on industry, along with agriculture, ranching, tourism, and recreation. There has to be room made for all of us; the rights of each sector have to be respected. Your voice, added to the voices of all the rest of us is important.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor