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LETTER: Fossil fuel lobby exaggerating city’s restriction of natural gas

Zero carbon step code permits backup heating systems such as gas fireplaces, notes letter writer
The zero carbon step code permits backup heating systems, including gas fireplaces, notes letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)

To the editor,

The City of Nanaimo is not banning fossil gas, but you wouldn’t know that based on a recent full-page ad in the newspaper.

The zero carbon step code permits backup heating systems, including gas fireplaces. The requirements for the new code are described at length in online documents published by both the city and the provincial government.

The website linked to the ad also claims that “natural gas, and especially clean renewable gas, is a crucial bridge fuel and part of the solution going forward.” That statement is only true when gas is replacing coal and oil, which certainly isn’t the case on Vancouver Island.

Additionally, that claim is only accurate if methane is not allowed to leak into the atmosphere. According to the UN Environment Programme, research shows that massive amounts of methane leak from gas facilities. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide, in the short term.

Most Canadians are worried about increasingly devastating wildfires, extreme summer heat and long periods of smoke, droughts that increase water restrictions and threaten salmon survival, followed by torrential rains and flooding. I am very pleased that our council had the courage to support a concrete mechanism to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. It will help move the city closer to its ambitious emission reduction goals.

Laurie Friskie, Nanaimo

OPINION: Natural gas not as ‘natural’ a choice as it sounds

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The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press Media or the Nanaimo News Bulletin.

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