Metro Vancouver opposition to Fraser Surrey coal trains echoes resistance in US Northwest

Metro Vancouver’s strong majority vote last Friday opposing US thermal coal exports from Fraser Surrey docks came despite warnings from rail and coal spokesmen who warned of dire consequences to BC’s economy if the motion passed.

But the views of elected officials here are exactly in line with those south of the border, where opposition to expanded coal exports — of US coal from US ports — is wide and deep.

All along the route of the Ride to Conquer Cancer, from Surrey to Seattle, riders were treated to many lawn signs and other signs of public discontent, and BNSF coal trains hurtling north woke up many tired riders at the overnight stop in Mount Vernon.

Washington State communities from Seattle right down to tiny villages are worried that the proposed massive expansion of coal trains will bring environmental, transportation and economic costs.

That opposition is one reason the coal industry is so interested in Metro Vancouver, where Port Metro Vancouver seems ready to give its approval to increased exports.