Unions, please rethink support for expanded Surrey coal exports

occupy.com
Kevin Washbrook | The Tyee | February 6, 2014

Declining domestic demand (due to cheaper natural gas and stiffer regulations) and heavy opposition to coal exports on the U.S. West Coast have increased pressure to export American thermal coal through Metro Vancouver ports. Those proposals have faced stiff opposition north of the border too -- but not from some unions. Recently the ILWU, U.S.W, IUOE and the BC Building Trades co-authored an op-ed that was critical of Metro Vancouver community, local government and health authority concerns about potential risks posed by plans to export up to eight million tonnes per year of U.S. coal from a new port in Surrey. See also an earlier letter on this same subject, dated Dec. 6, 2013 by Kevin Washbrook and Paula Williams.