Friday, February 01, 2019

A Coal Port Dies

It is a fight that lasted several years but the proposal to build a coal port to ship thermal (dirty) coal from the Fraser Surrey Docks is dead. From Dogwood:
After six long years of community pushback, the Port of Vancouver has cancelled its permit for the controversial U.S. thermal coal proposal. 1 
A port spokesperson told The Tyee today the company was required to show “substantial progress” on the project, and failed to do so. Fraser Surrey Docks was fighting an ongoing court battle with local residents represented by our friends at Ecojustice. 
This is a huge win for grassroots groups including Communities and Coal, Voters Taking Action on Climate Change, and all the Dogwood volunteers in Delta, White Rock, New Westminster, Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey who fought this filthy project over many years. Congratulations!

Organizers from B.C. to California have defeated a string of dirty thermal coal proposals up and down the coast. That’s good for the health and safety of people who live, work, or go to school near the train tracks. Coal dust is toxic, deadly stuff.
Plus it’s a win for the global climate.

“Burning coal for electricity really has no place in a world that is serious about fighting climate change,” said Ecojustice lawyer Fraser Thompson today in reaction to the news. “An end to this project is a step in that direction.”
In 2013, the Globe and Mail described the project:

The Fraser Surrey Docks coal port project, if approved by the authority, could see [thermal] coal exports in B.C. jump by nearly eight million tonnes a year. Coal – coming primarily from the northern United States – would be unloaded directly from rail cars onto receiving pits and transferred directly onto barges. The barges would carry the coal to Texada Island in the Straight of Georgia, where it would be stored at an existing storage yard and then transferred to deep-sea vessels for export to Asia.
Does this mean less thermal coal will be burned in Asia? Probably not. Australia can't ship enough of this climate-killing garbage. It does mean that they won't be getting their high-carbon fuel for their generating plants from this dock, from Canada. And that is a win.  The fight to end this disgraceful trade in thermal coal isn't over.


Hugh said...

"Westshore (near Tsawassen) is the busiest single coal export terminal in North America and is operated by the Westar Group on a long-term contract. It typically ships over 20 million tonnes of export coal a year and early in 2010 completed a $49-million equipment upgrade, bringing its capacity from 24 million to 29 million tonnes per year."

John's aghast said...

Now we can put to bed the hugely expensive and somewhat useless Deese Island replacement bridge.

The Mound of Sound said...

Roberts Bank is going to be harder to stop but that doesn't meanh it's not worth trying.

the salamander said...

.. jobs jobs jobs.. and the direct & indirect benefits to communities.. whether US coal exports stashed on Texada Island, pipeline construction & fracking in BC and Alberta.. whatever.. I get it - I get I - I get it again Jason Kenney or Justin Trudeau or Andrew Scheer.. those masters of The Nation Building.. You too Ms McKenney.. Mistress Of Our Environment (please note the 'our' thank you.. yes that's OUR ENVIRONMENT !)

If we're going to get out of this situation alive.. or subsequent generations.. Yes I mean OUR children & THEIR children and so on.. we are going to have to start drastically scaling back the never ending economic growth fantasy. Its useless but deadly.. and its become a long running con.. an electoral grift. Some sort of Crusade of the politicians. Somehow the price of the fantasy, keeps being Environment, Habitat, Species.. Our politicians have forgotten the vast scope of Environment. Its the air, the water, the soil, the rock, and the aformentioned Species and Habitat.. and humans are a species too.. and yes we like our habitat safe and useful.. we like to eat and drink & breathe

Has any political animal ever thought.. instead of 'nation building' that we might need to engage in nation stabilizing ? That's right.. steady up and refine what we already have, start the momumental cleanup.. instead of the strange focus on ripping and stripping and selling Canada of to foreign lands for $ ? All done with simply massive loss and cost to our lands, water, air.. while subsidizing foreign owners to do so ! ! Do they really think there will be no natural consequence to tar sands tailings ponds ? Windblown or rainwashed coal dust ? Pulp and paper effluent.. ? OK.. have a look here.. seekng as public servant intellectual geniuses are willing to blow off the billion $ lifeblood of the east coast lobster fishery .. Great plan fools. Why not shutter the mill, and without dropping a single paycheck.. begin retraining the employees for remediation.. then export that expertise and know how ? What was the cost to tourism for that blunder and web of deceit.. ? So you want to do this to British Columbia too.. oh great.. !

The Mound of Sound said...

'Nation stabilizing'indeed, Sal. We're racing to get to a place we've been warned not to go even as we forget where we came from and what we lost along the way.

Sal, there's something I'd like to send for your review. I use an email address for this very purpose. Please contact me at

Transporter1 said...

Coal port is very interesting subject to disscuss. We need more speaks about it.

K Investments said...

That's true. Coal port is very important.