Thermal coal from Wyoming is sent by rail to Fraser Surrey Docks for shipment to Asia, after western U.S. states said they didn’t want the polluting, carbon-intensive fuel for power plants. (Port Metro Vancouver)

Christy Clark calls for U.S. thermal coal export ban

Clark asks Justin Trudeau to ban U.S. thermal coal shipments to B.C. for sale to Asia

Premier Christy Clark has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking for a ban on “filthy” U.S. thermal coal shipments from federally regulated B.C. ports.

Clark announced the move Wednesday, in response to 20 per cent preliminary lumber duties imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department set to take effect May 1.

Clark announced the move at a campaign stop at Catalyst Paper distribution facilities in Surrey Wednesday, a company that has won an unfair trade case with the U.S. over glossy paper. She said her government has been considering the request for some time, but didn’t want to provoke U.S. President Donald Trump while softwood lumber talks were proceeding.

Long trains hauling thermal coal on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line through White Rock and Surrey have been controversial for years. Washington, Oregon and California have rejected the shipments to Asia, where coal-fired power plants foul the air and create significant greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. actions have pushed the trade north to B.C.

In late 2015, Port Metro Vancouver approved an expansion of its Fraser Surrey Docks to handle increased shipments of thermal coal from Wyoming, bound for Asia.

B.C. exports metallurgical coal to Asia from mines in the Kootenays and Northeast from Roberts Bank, near the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. It burns cleaner and is used mainly for steelmaking.

Clark said a ban on U.S. thermal coal would free up B.C. port capacity for B.C. coal, and send a message to the U.S. government about its threats to Canadian trade.

In her letter to Trudeau, Clark noted that Alberta and other provinces are phasing out thermal coal-fired power plants as part of Canada’s greenhouse gas reduction efforts. B.C. is also pushing for export of liquefied natural gas to China, Japan, Korea and other countries to reduce emissions.

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver endorsed Clark’s suggestion, noting that the B.C. Liberals and NDP both voted against his motion in the B.C. legislature three years ago.

“I sincerely hope that this move the premier has made is more than just election poltics,” Weaver said.

Just Posted

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email editor@trailtimes.ca

Time to talk turkey

Five food safety tips for the holidays

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email it to editor@trailtimes.ca

Creston-area rail siding, site of 1910 disaster

Place Names: McNeillie Siding, Savalpee Port, Mud Landing, Nelway and more

Smoke Eaters struggles continue heading into tough stretch

Thompson: ” … home games closing out the pre-holiday schedule will showcase some real talent.”

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Rescued B.C. cat with misshapen legs in need of forever home – with carpet

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

VIDEO: Craft growers will add to recreational market, cannabis producer says

Two B.C. men say their expertise in running small legal medical grow-ops a benefit to recreational market

World Sikh Organization demands Canada prove Sikh extremism is a threat

Sikh community says this is first time such extremism has been mentioned in federal terror-threat assessment

Risk of catching the flu increasing in B.C. this holiday season: BCCDC

Dr. Danuta Skowronski with the BC Centre for Disease Control says influenza will pick up during the holidays

Boeser has 2 points as Canucks ground Flyers 5-1

WATCH: Vancouver has little trouble with slumping Philly side

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Most Read