I received an email from Laura Benson of Dogwood Initiative entitled, “B.C.’s dirty little secret” asking me to support a ‘petition to stop coal port expansion today’. http://dogwoodinitiative.org/beyondcoal
To the governments of Canada, British Columbia and the Ministers of Trade and Transport:We the signatories draw your attention to proposals to expand British Columbia’s coal export capacity to serve foreign markets. We are especially opposed to exporting U.S. thermal coal, which American west coast communities have rejected.
Coal is a toxic product. Its mining, transport and combustion create grave risks to human health, to quality of life in communities surrounding mines, rail lines, port facilities and power plants, and to the global climate. That’s why an ever-growing number of residents, neighbourhood groups, non-profit organizations and municipal governments are standing up against coal expansion in B.C.
I needs asking, “Does it make sense to oppose expansion of the Port Metro
Near 2 miles of coal cars on route to BC coal terminus
Vancouver coal export terminals in North Vancouver and White Rock?” Both have capacity in place due to Canadian supply shortages. Wyoming’s White Cloud coal mines in the Powder River Basin, a higher grade than presently shipped from Vancouver terminals, has made application to ship approximately 18 – 20 millions tons per year to Asian markets. Some 25% of coal exports through White Rock terminals are from US sources already.
Points to consider:
- Wyoming is the largest coal producer in the United States and, faced with falling domestic demand, is looking for new markets in Asia.
- Asian countries will burn coal regardless of where the coal comes from.
- BC ports are already shipping US coal. Coal trains almost two kilometres long are already hauling coal from Montana and Wyoming to the Pacific Northwest to be shipped to Asian nations who have few qualms about burning this maligned fossil fuel.
- The BC terminals can use the expansion and the employment it brings.
- Wyoming Crow Nation, who own the coal mine, need the Asian customers in order to maintain production and jobs.
- The coal will be shipped to Asia, if not through BC then through Gulf of Mexico or a new terminus on the West US coast.
- If a new US terminus is built, Port Metro Vancouver will lose approximately 25% of existing coal export and the jobs that go with it.
To protest this coal export application on the environmental impact of burning coal is probably the ethical thing to do, but, will it really make a difference in the world wide scheme of environmental protection and reducing the effects of global warming?
Economically, who would win or who would lose depending upon how and where this coal is exported?