This weeks Column for 24Hrs Vancouver: “It’s a ‘dirty’ job, so let the U.S. do it themselves.”
This week, Kathryn and I take on the debate : Should B.C. handle U.S. Coal exports? What do you think? (Winner of the last duel on $10-per-day child care was Laila Yuile with 81%.)
Occasionally, I can’t help but wonder how much the global economy takes advantage of British Columbia’s reputation for being easygoing and complacent.
Case in point is the recent application for Fraser Surrey Docks to develop a direct coal transfer facility. The idea of coal expansion has people up in arms — rightfully so — particularly south of the Fraser River and along the Sunshine Coast.
The heart of the controversy is centered on taking so-called “dirty” coal mined in Wyoming and exporting it from Canadian ports, specifically from ports here in B.C. This new proposal involves shipping thermal coal, which is the kind of coal burned only for energy, to Fraser Surrey Docks, where it would be loaded onto barges and taken to Texada Island to a storage facility. From there, it would be loaded onto freighters to be shipped overseas. It’s a controversial move that some in B.C., and elsewhere, say we should halt immediately.
I agree. There should be no expansion to ship U.S. coal to Texada, and for good reason…
Read the rest of this column, and vote, at this link http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2013/04/07/us-coal-export-a-dirty-job-so-let-the-us-do-it-themselves
**note, Kathryn states in her column: “If Laila is against coal being exported from the Fraser Surrey Docks I assume she is in favour of shutting down Roberts Bank and all the jobs that go with it.”
It is important to understand that there are two kinds of coal being exported: Metallurgical coal,( coking coal) which is used for steelmaking, and thermal coal, which is only used for energy, or heat. You can learn more here:http://www.homelandenergygroup.com/s/Coal.asp?ReportID=338859&_Title=Comment-on-Coking-Coal-vs-Thermal-Coal
I am not in favour of shutting down Roberts Bank or the all the jobs that go with it – I am against this proposal for Fraser Surrey Docks and barging this US thermal coal to Texada for storage,and for shipping.
The thermal coal being produced in Wyoming,Montana and Illinois is a low quality,low grade thermal coal used only to heat homes and create electricity. Barging it from Fraser Surrey Docks to Texada Island where it will be loaded onto tankers brings all sorts of questions to light,not only for Surrey/Delta/New West residents,but also for those in Powell River and the Sunshine Coast who will see increased barge and freighter traffic.