coal exports

This Small U.S. County Just Became a Major Roadblock for Unrefined Fossil Fuel Exports in North America

Cherry Point

Unrefined fossil fuels won’t be shipped out of a small Washington State export facility at Cherry Point any time soon, due to a temporary moratorium imposed by the Whatcom County Council.

The moratorium positions Cherry Point as a major roadblock for both U.S. and Canadian companies scrounging for export facilities to ship unprocessed oil, gas and coal to overseas markets.

We are determined to use whatever legal tools we have to address climate change and to protect good refining jobs,” Barry Buchanan, council chair in Whatcom County, told DeSmog Canada.

Amid dwindling community-level support for fossil fuel infrastructure and after the U.S. lifted a 40-year old oil export ban, Cherry Point has been flooded with export permit applications for LNG, propane, coal and bitumen.

Privatizing Canada’s Ports An ‘Invitation for More Conflict’ on Fossil Fuel Exports

The federal government is considering privatizing Canada’s port authorities, a move that could further hinder public oversight and control over the export of commodities such as coal and crude oil.

On Nov. 14, the federal government announced the hiring of Morgan Stanley Canada to “provide financial advice to the Government related to the recommendations [contained in the Canada Transportation Act Review] concerning ports, including receiving proposals from institutional investors or private equity investors.”

Got Coal? The Burning Problem with Canada’s Port Authorities

Canada’s major ports handle more than 300 million tonnes of cargo every year. They’re how we import products like cars and TVs and how we export commodities like grain and oil. Yet many of us have likely never thought of how the country’s 18 Canada Port Authorities (CPAs) are run — until now.

The way that decisions are made at Canada’s ports are coming under increasing scrutiny from environmentalists, who take issue with ports operating as both a promoter and regulator of trade.

The boards of directors of Canada’s port authorities determine what terminals receive approval for construction, and thus what types of commodities end up leaving the harbour.

Take Port Metro Vancouver (officially known as the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority), for example. It’s the largest port authority by tonnage in the country: in 2015 it facilitated the exchange of 138 million tonnes of cargo.

In September 2012, Fraser Surrey Docks — one of 28 marine terminals located at Port Metro Vancouver — announced plans to export eight million tonnes of thermal coal mined in Montana and Wyoming to Asian markets every year.

Tide Turning Against Global Coal Industry: New Report

Coal plant

Coal, the fossil fuel that largely sparked the industrial revolution, may be facing the beginning of the end — at least in terms of generating electricity.

There are increasing signs of the demise of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel, from a global oversupply to plummeting prices to China starting to clean up its polluted air.

Last week, the Carbon Tracker Initiative published an analysis — Carbon Supply Cost Curves: Evaluating Financial Risk to Coal Capital Expenditures — identifying major financial risks for investors in coal producers around the world.

Saying the demand for thermal coal in China, the world’s largest emitter of toxic greenhouse gases, could peak as early as 2016, the analysis also highlights $112 billion of future coal mine expansion and development that is excess to requirements under lower demand forecasts.

"The West Wants Out" of Ottawa's Energy Superpower Plan

chief ian campbell of the squamish first nation

This is a guest post by Will Horter, executive director of the Dogwood Initiative. It was originally published in the Toronto Star.

Earthquakes happen rarely in Canadian politics, but the fault lines are shifting again on the West Coast. As the next federal election draws closer, conditions below the surface should remind political observers of another seismic event a generation ago.

Back in the early 1990s, Stephen Harper and the insurgent Reform Party forced a tectonic shift, unleashing a powerful wave of western alienation that has realigned Canadian politics to this day. Their slogan was: “The West wants in.”

You could sum up the feeling in British Columbia lately as, “The West wants out.” Today you could get in your car in Kenora and drive clear across the Prairies to the coast without ever leaving a blue Conservative riding. But the road through the Rocky Mountains could become tricky indeed if Harper’s party doesn’t change course.

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