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article imagePremier Clark wants to ban or tax U.S. coal exports leaving B.C.

By Karen Graham     May 6, 2017 in Politics
Vancouver - In a move that could only be considered retaliation for the new U.S. tariff on Canadian softwood, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seriously considering a request from BC's premier to ban or tax U.S. thermal coal exports going out of the province.
In a statement on Friday, B.C. Premier Christie Clark said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has agreed to seriously review her request, which she made after the United States slapped a 20 percent tariff on all Canadian softwood lumber imports, according to the Vancouver Sun.
In the letter that was posted on the BC government's official website, Trudeau wrote to Clark: "The Government of Canada is considering this request carefully and seriously. I have asked federal trade officials to further examine the request to inform our government’s next steps,” Trudeau said in the letter. “We disagree strongly with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty on Canadian softwood lumber products.”
BC Premier Christie Clark has been very vocal over the 20 percent tariff imposed by the U.S. on the ...
BC Premier Christie Clark has been very vocal over the 20 percent tariff imposed by the U.S. on the softwood lumber industry.
Christie Clark
But Christie, who was campaigning ahead of the election on Tuesday, also cited her party's desire to reduce the world's reliance on dirty thermal coal as a source of electricity. “Banning thermal coal exports through B.C. ports stands up for forest workers and helps fight climate change,” she said in the statement.
The exchange of letters between the leader of Canada and the premier of British Columbia signals a shift, of sorts, for both leaders. Up until now, Trudeau has been telling U.S. officials the trade issues are minor irritants, while both countries will benefit from an integrated bilateral trade agreement.
Clark, on the other hand, has been very vocal in her dislike of the U.S. tariffs imposed on the lumber industry in B.C. The lumber industry in B.C. is pivotal to the economy and to forest-related communities, BC NDP leader John Horgan says. But, Hogan thinks Clark's attack on U.S. thermal coal exports may be going too far, saying “That’s saber rattling. We have a serious trade issue before us," reports Chek News.
View into the Eagle Butte coal mine in Gillette  in Wyoming s Powder River Basin. The open-pit  truc...
View into the Eagle Butte coal mine in Gillette, in Wyoming's Powder River Basin. The open-pit "truck and shovel" mine produces low-sulfur, sub-bituminous coal from the vast Roland and Smith seams. Library of Congress: Catalog:
Carol M. Highsmith
At the center of Clark's argument to slap a tax on thermal coal exports out of BC, is the Westshore Terminals in Tsawwassen, located on a peninsula in the southwestern corner of the Municipality of Delta in B.C. It is Canada's premier coal exporting facility with an export capacity that exceeds over 29 million tons annually.
The majority (94 percent) of the coal exported from the Westshore Terminals comes from the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming. Christie proposes to enact a $70 per ton carbon tax on thermal coal exported out of B.C., a very bad piece of news for the U.S. coal industry.
More about British columbia, Premier Christie Clark, thermal coal exports, tax or ban, Justin trudeau
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