Deltaport coal shipping facilities at Tsawwassen, where U.S. thermal coal is shipped to Asia as well as metallurgical coal from B.C. mines. (Port Metro Vancouver)

Christy Clark vows heavy levy on U.S., Alberta, Saskatchewan coal

$70 carbon levy would make thermal coal exports non-viable

If the federal government won’t move to ban thermal coal exports from B.C. ports, a re-elected B.C. Liberal government will impose a carbon levy high enough to shut the trade down, Christy Clark says.

At a campaign stop at a Merritt remanufacturing sawmill Tuesday, Clark said a levy as high as $70 a tonne would be applied as soon as possible if the B.C. Liberal government is re-elected May 9. Clark was adding specifics to a promise made last week in response to the U.S. government’s imposition of a 20 per cent import duty on B.C. lumber.

A new regulation would be created under B.C.’s greenhouse gas legislation, applying to any thermal coal shipment from a B.C. port. The largest shipments come from U.S. mines, brought by train to the coal shipping terminal in Delta, but the levy would also apply to thermal coal from Saskatchewan and Alberta, exported through Prince Rupert port.

Clark said the levy is calculated on the extraction, transport and burning of thermal coal, which Canada is phasing out as part of its greenhouse gas restrictions. West coast U.S. ports have already shunned thermal coal exports from massive reserves in Wyoming and Utah, prompting producers to look north to reach Asian buyers.

“In preliminary work we estimate that this levy could be about $70 a tonne, and with the current price of thermal coal at about 80 bucks U.S., the levy would make thermal coal shipped through British Columbia utterly uncompetitive in the global market,” Clark said.

B.C. would not attempt to single out U.S. coal shipments, which would violate the North American Free Trade Agreement. But it would send “a strong message” to U.S. President Donald Trump, whose administration has targeted Canadian lumber and dairy imports.

Clark offered no sympathy for Alberta, which is committed to close down its own thermal coal power plants.

“In Alberta they say they’re concerned about climate change,” Clark said. “Here’s an opportunity for them to help make sure that we all join that fight together.”

Just Posted

Outbreak at Okanagan hospital

Gastrointestinal illness reported at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

Dedicated volunteers look for clues

Police appreciate work of those who provide extra eyes for missing women investigations.

Dueck answers Hall’s call

Vernon’s Josh Dueck elected to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame

Big Band supports children with disabilities in Lake Country

Proceeds from the Okanagan Big Band performance in Vernon supports local kids

Armstrong RCMP seek suspicious driver

Want to speak with man who spoke to two young girls while in his car as they walked home from school

Christmas spirit rounded up at Ranch

O’Keefe Ranch celebrates the season with Victorian Christmas

Horgan says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

B.C. is developing its rules on recreational marijuana

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Vernon Off Road Motorcycle Club looks back at 2017 season

Half Throttle, Great Trails, highlight 2017 season

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Worship night celebrates with Christmas concert

Hear The Music is back with a Christmas concert Dec. 17 at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre

Armstrong purse project puts women first

When money is tight, even the essentials can become luxury items

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

RCMP look to reunite owner with stolen tools

Kelowna police seek to identify the owner of tablet and tools seized by RCMP

Most Read