Coal plan will move forward unless good people speak up
The call for action on climate change no longer just comes from environmental groups but has been joined by the voices of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The science is no longer challenged, so what is Canada’s response to the greatest global crisis we have faced in our lifetimes? Our response is to ignore the warnings and ramp up the production of fossil fuels to take advantage of some short-term opportunities in Asia. The latest example of this insanity is to allow American coal to be imported by rail to Fraser Surrey Docks situated directly across from our city to be loaded on to barges then towed to Texada Island and in turn loaded on to ships destined for Asia. This is wrong on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start.
From a health perspective the two 125-car trains/day carrying low-grade coal from Wyoming will pass by at least a dozen schools as it passes through White Rock and Surrey. The cars are open and each one has the potential to release 500-2000 lbs of coal dust. Coal dust contains arsenic, lead, mercury, nickel, and selenium.
The environmental threat to our air quality, Fraser River salmon runs, and the ultimate responsibility when this coal is actually burned cannot be ignored. The main proponent of this ill-conceived plan besides Fraser Surrey Docks is Port Metro Vancouver. This federal entity which appears to have absolute power is displaying the same arrogant bullying tactics that its political masters in Ottawa have shown for the past seven years. A pamphlet sent out in the mail is not public consultation. To date Voters Taking Action on Climate Change (VTACC) is leading the charge to challenge this irresponsible plan.
There is no way that we should become a doormat for American coal interests. This is happening because Canada now has much weaker environmental protection than the U.S. who are up in arms over similar plans in Washington and Oregon. Already normally law abiding citizens have stood in front of a coal train in White Rock and have been arrested for their actions. We need thousands more to step up and collectively raise our voices in opposition. The only way this plan moves forward is if good people remain silent.