Put me in the camp of letter-writer R. Morton in the coal-transport debate.
I’m 70 years old and showing no ill effects from years as a shift engineer in three of Alberta’s coal-fired generating stations.
Letter-writer Bill Stewart’s response compares working with coal to smoking – a classic red herring. As in any industrial plant, you wear personal protective equipment and clothing while working safely.
Stewart wanders off asking why we should accept the transport of American thermal coal. Because we are partners in North America’s free trade – and free transport – system, enjoying the prosperity delivered by that arrangement. After all, some Canadian potash is shipped from American ports on the Columbia River. Vancouver is one of the world’s leading ports with an advanced infrastructure that attracts customers like Wyoming’s coal producers.
Stewart then asks why we should accept Alberta’s bitumen for shipment to Pacific Basin customers.
What would happen to Canada as a nation if each province threw up barriers to its neighbours’ trade?
Thankfully, the federal government regulates interprovincial trade and railways, thus doing away with such narrow-minded nonsense.
Crude oil is already moving by rail through White Rock from southern Saskatchewan to American refiners. Bitumen is as easily moved by rail; this export commodity will reach customers one way or the other.
While I’m a lifelong rail fan, I recognize pipeline is the best transport mode of hydrocarbon product. I anticipate federal approval of both the Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan projects.
Francis Patrick Jordan, White Rock