Be mindful of the facts about coal

Coal directly and indirectly employs 42,000 people in Canada and contributes $5.2 billion to national GDP.

The direction the Lower Mainland takes regarding the export of natural resources – especially the Fraser Surrey Docks’ proposal – continues to be a source of debate. We must be mindful of the facts about this project and not fall into the trap of heated rhetoric from either side.

These days, we often hear groups declare: “stop thermal coal.” And throughout the ongoing debate, it’s to stop thermal coal from the U.S.

Thermal coal, also known as sub-bituminous coal, is found across the western United States and the Rockies – including in Canada. Coal, whether it’s metallurgical or thermal, serves an important purpose in our global society. From manufacturing the steel for modern transit, to generating the electricity we cook with, all types of coal will remain an important energy source and driver of economic activity.

In fact, coal directly and indirectly employs 42,000 people in Canada and contributes $5.2 billion to national GDP.

Few have asked just how much coal will be coming through Fraser Surrey Docks. According to the World Coal Association, global coal production reached nearly 7.7 billion metric tons in 2011.

To put the Fraser Surrey Docks proposal into perspective, the company is seeking approval for a facility of just four million metric tons of coal per year – just one half of one per cent of annual global production.

In September, Port Metro Vancouver announced new requirements for the project. These include the construction of a facility at the B.C.-U.S. border where trains would be sprayed with a dust suppressant. Locally, Fraser Surrey Docks must complete an environmental impact assessment, agree to not stockpile coal, and find ways to ensure no dust escapes barges during their trip to Texada island.

Coal remains an important fuel for the developing world. Forty per cent of the world’s population relies on coal for electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. And in Canada, coal accounts for nearly 15 per cent of the country’s electricity generation.

By supporting important projects such as the Fraser Surrey Docks proposal, we are able to ensure the long-term viability of a company critical to the local community, and preserve and add to the more than 200 jobs it already supports.

 

Anita Huberman, CEO

Surrey Board of Trade

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Filming applications ‘coming in slowly’ to the City of Surrey

Netflix cancels ‘Sabrina’, but filming manager says new calls coming in to film in Cloverdale

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JULY 11: B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance

‘Did anything good come out of my son’s overdose death?’ – South Surrey mom

Maggie Plett says action still needed on recovery homes

‘Justice for Mona’ rally planned for Surrey

Security camera footage shows Mona Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check at UBCO

Sources receives $70K from SurreyCares

Funds will help with warehouse space for food programs in Surrey, White Rock, Langley

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Most Read