BC Liberals leader Christy Clark has written a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to advocate for the banning of all “filthy” U.S. thermal coal shipments from federally regulated B.C. ports.
The move comes as a response to U.S.-imposed 20 per cent preliminary lumber duties taking effect on May 1.
For Ridley Terminals Inc. (RTI), 55.2 per cent of its cargo handled in 2016 was thermal coal (2,205,234 tonnes out of 3,992,307 total tonnes), though none of the coal currently handled at the terminal is from Canada’s neighbours to the south, confirmed Michael Gurney, Port of Prince Rupert manager of corporate communications.
“None of the coal currently handled by Ridley Terminals is sourced from the U.S.,” Gurney said.
“We continue to monitor the issue, however we’re not in a position to be exporting U.S.-sourced coal right now.”
Thermal coal volumes at RTI come from Canadian sources, he continued.
Total tonnage handled at RTI dropped 10 per cent year over year from 2015 to 2016, and coal shipments have been on the decline for several years at RTI due to declining coal markets and prices in the world and a phasing out of thermal coal-fired power plants in Canada.
– With files from Tom Fletcher