He was speaking yesterday at a Vancouver news conference to announce the final pieces have fallen in place for a new liquefied natural gas plant to be built on a native reserve near Kitimat.
Bennett and John Duncan, the federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, jointly announced regulatory changes, they said, that have now cleared the way for construction of the Kitimat LNG plant. Those changes will allow the province to enforce provincial environmental standards on reserve lands, which are technically under the jurisdiction of the federal government.
The massive LNG plant, a joint venture by Apache Canada and Chevron Canada with First Nation co-operation, will process nearly 700 million cubic feet of gas per day, becoming a key link in the transportation chain between off-shore markets and the shale gas fields in this area. Bennett, whose government is still trailing in the polls as it seeks re-election in May, said developing those fields is of “profound” economic importance to the province.
Last month Apache and Chevron announced they were teaming up to develop the fields in the Horn River and Liard basins, with Apache chairman Steven Farris describing them as “two of the most prolific shale gas plays in North America, with more than 50 trillion feet of resource potential.”
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