B.C. utility deceived public over ‘renewable’ gas, claims lawsuit

Date: March 26, 2024
Complete Article: The Coast Reporter

Have you been seeing TV ads and signage lately that claims that LNG is renewable and part of the solution to climate change? A detailed and informative article in our local newspaper discusses why an environmental group is suing FortisBC about the ads. It explains five ways in which the ads are deceptive and discusses other similar lawsuits in Canada and the US. It’s well worth a read.

If you would like to take action on this issue, there is an online petition you can sign that calls on FortisBC to stop “greenwashing” natural gas.


An environmental group [Stand Environmental Society] and two B.C. residents have sued the province’s largest gas utility, claiming FortisBC deceived the public in an effort to convince British Columbians to continue purchasing gas it markets as “renewable.”

The case is the first time a major utility in Canada has been sued for allegedly making deceptive claims about renewable natural gas (RNG) — a catch-all term which can include hydrogen; gas pulled from coal, plants or wood; or methane emissions siphoned off manure, landfills, or wastewater plants.

To tackle emissions, the province and several municipalities have moved to adopt a Zero Carbon Step Code, which allows municipalities to target the carbon output of new buildings by pushing builders to install low-carbon heat pumps or by building more efficiently.

[A senior campaign director at Stand, Liz McDowell,] says that in response, FortisBC has embarked on a public relations campaign to have its gas infrastructure included in the code. That advertising has flooded public spaces, social media and lawmakers’ inboxes with misleading and incorrect information hailing RNG as a solution to the climate crisis, she said.

McDowell says the latest lawsuit is an attempt to correct that misinformation.

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