US Coal Exports
Exports Economic Contributions Report
Mar 08 2013

Port Official Rebuts Environmental Claims by Mayor (Canadian Press)

Posted in All News, U.S. Ports

Mayor Gregor Robertson’s objections to coal exports is ‘meaningless,’ says port official

By Cara McKenna, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson wants to ban coal exports from the city’s port based on health concerns, but officials with the port are calling his motion “meaningless” and inaccurate.

Robertson’s motion is to be heard at city council next week and would create a bylaw banning coal-exporting activity on the grounds that train transport of coal to the Port of Metro Vancouver creates coal dust and diesel fumes. The motion notes the health impacts are relatively unknown.

Coun. Andrea Reimer said the city first became concerned when the port started to expand in Surrey and North Vancouver.

“We haven’t had any proposals for a long time and suddenly there’s two — one in Surrey and one in North Van,” said Reimer.

“We would be the next logical place, because we are the port hubs in Vancouver, and we have the rail lines going through.”

The mayor’s motion also states the Port of Metro Vancouver has “no responsibility for impacts from port activities outside the port.”

‘STATEMENTS INCORRECT’

Duncan Wilson, the Port of Metro Vancouver’s vice-president of corporate social responsibility, said the motion is inaccurate.

“None of the coal trains come through the city of Vancouver — anywhere,” said Wilson.

“What I’m concerned about is that the motion makes some statements that I believe are incorrect.

“If the city wants to take a position on coal, that’s one thing. But we do take very seriously the impact of our operations on local communities, and the motion suggests we don’t do that.”

Wilson said he believes many of the health impacts the city is concerned about have already been addressed, “but it would be interesting to have that dialogue with the health authorities,” he said.

“I do know in terms of dust mitigation they spray down the coal so that it doesn’t create dust as it moves down the corridor. In terms of diesel exhaust, you’d have to speak to railways about that.”

Reimer said Vancouver is actually behind when it comes to considering the potential health impacts of coal exporting.

LOOKING AT IMPACT ON HEALTH

“Frankly, we’re behind when you look at the west coast of North America which is where a lot of the coal is leaving the continent,” she said.

“We are well behind Los Angeles and other major ports — Seattle, state of Oregon — in looking at health impacts and how it relates to coal exports.”

The Port of Metro Vancouver needs to be more accountable by giving the public the absolute right of access to information, Reimer said.

“Quite a few health professionals and health organizations have written to Port Metro Vancouver urging them to better involve health authorities because it’s in the Metro Vancouver region,” she said.

But Wilson said he believes the motion has no effect on the Port, as there are no plans to put a coal facility on any land in Vancouver.

“I mean, I understand their interest in bigger issues around coal, but it seems to me that the motion is basically meaningless in terms of its impact.”

See article here.

  • “The fact that we’re no longer in the age of energy scarcity – that we’re in the age of energy abundance – positions the United States in a totally different place. This gives access to affordable, reliable energy in the United States, and gives the U.S. a major competitive advantage.”
    – Dave Banks, Special Assistant to President Donald Trump for International Energy, June 2017
  • “It is in the national interest to promote clean and safe development of our Nation's vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation. Moreover, the prudent development of these natural resources is essential to ensuring the Nation's geopolitical security.”
    – Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, March 28, 2017
  • “Historically, U.S. companies seeking to expand their revenues focused first on increasing their number and share of U.S customers. For years, this focus served as a winning strategy for many of the most successful U.S. companies. Today, global economic trends make clear that successful companies are those that reach and sell to consumers outside U.S. borders and around the globe.”
    — 2011 National Export Strategy, U.S. Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee
  • “Federal regulatory agencies should not require climate change studies in the course of their permitting processes for proposed facilities. Coal will be consumed around the world regardless of U.S. trade policy. The only question is whether the coal is produced here in North America, where environmental standards are high, or elsewhere.”
    — U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, January 7, 2014
  • “At present 19% of the world’s population, 1.3 billion people, lack access to electricity and on New Policy Scenario projections there will still be 1 billion people without such access in 2030. To meet the UN Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2015, 395 million more people need access to electricity. There is a strong correlation between electrification and improvement in the United Nations’ Human Development Index.”
    — International Energy Agency, Coal Industry Advisory Board
  • “Access to electricity is strongly correlated with every measurable indicator of human development”
    — Berkeley Science Review, 2008

Count on Coal

National Mining Association

Twitter Logo

facebook Logo