Most people don't know that Metro Vancouver, thanks to its Fraser Port Authority, is poised to become the biggest coal exporter in North America.
The Port Authority is now approving a large expansion of tenants, Neptune Terminals' and Fraser Surrey Docks' coal installations. It has ignored the appeals of local mayors, NGOs, the BC Lung Association, environmental groups and the public to delay approval to permit public consultation and a proper assessment of the environmental impacts of the coal terminals.
Harper could intervene. The Port Authority is under federal mandate. It stipulates the Authority shall, "provide facilities, services and technologies that are competitive,
safe, commercially viable, dependable, environmentally responsible and
customer oriented and to operate with broad public support in the best
interests of Canadians."
There's nothing remotely environmentally responsible about this and it is plainly being operated in defiance of the will and best interests of the public. Of course if Harper did act to force the Port Authority to comply with its clear mandate it would play proper Hell with the Tar Sands and his pipeline interests.
Kinder Morgan wants to ramp up oil exports from its Trans-Mountain Burnaby pipeline terminal too. This would mean a six-fold increase in tanker traffic past Stanley Park and will ultimately move more tar sands oil than the Northern Gateway scheme. We're kidding ourselves if we cling to the myth that we're a green city, or province for that matter.
No question, Elliott, we have to take responsibility for fossil fuels we allow to be exported from our ports. That goes for LNG out of northern B.C., Alberta bitumen and Tumbler Ridge coal.
The provincial government must own up to this. We'll get nothing helpful from the feds.
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