Ackerman concerned about natural gas rules imposed on existing buildings

Mayor Lori Ackerman. Photo by Montana Cumming

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John mayor Lori Ackerman says that though she support’s the city of Vancouver’s intentions to leave a lighter carbon footprint, she has concerns about rules being extended to existing buildings.

Back in July, the city of Vancouver voted in favour of adopting a the Renewable City Strategy. The strategy calls for the city deriving 100 percent of its energy from renewable resources by the year 2050, and the construction of new emissions-free buildings by the year 2030, in according with their Zero Emissions Building Plan.

The City of Vancouver clarified today that it will not be banning the use of natural gas, and that residents will be able to continue to cook with natural gas and will not have to replace their gas appliances.

Ackerman says that her concerns stem from policies being imposed on residents when there is no feasible alternative to those. She says that the City of Fort St. John has already implemented a Community Energy and Emissions plan. She says that the city will be decreasing its collective carbon footprint in the coming years, pointing to the city’s Passive House, Tree Rebate Program, and the Low Flush Toilet program, among others. Ackerman said that the city is making steps toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but added that doing so is not only costly, but that the resources to make such changes overnight are not currently available.

Looking at sources of renewables such as bio-methane, Ackerman says that that technology does exist in the Peace, pointing to the PRRD’s methane capture system at the North Peace Landfill. She added however that though some have mentioned using crops to create biofuels, the problem remains that those crops are not being used as food, which reduces supply and drives prices higher.

Ackerman summarized her thoughts on the policy, saying “when you drop one domino, others will fall, and you need to see what those are.”