BC Liberals threaten US coal with carbon tax after softwood levy

About 94% of thermal coal exported through BC comes from the US.

May 3, 2017   by CP Staff

MERRITT, BC — BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark is threatening to impose a carbon tax on thermal coal coming from the US.

Clark told reporters while campaigning today in BC’s Interior that she wants to make it uncompetitive to ship the coal through the province’s ports.

She says if the federal government won’t act, the Liberals would develop regulations that impose a carbon price of about $70 per tonne on thermal coal if they are re-elected in the May 9 election.

The plan escalates a threat she made last week after the American’s imposed an average duty of 20% on Canadian softwood lumber.

The coal moves through BC ports to be shipped to China, but Clark says it’s among the dirtiest and most carbon-intense methods to generate power and heat.

NDP Leader John Horgan says if Clark was serious about thermal coal she could have done something about it years ago, accusing her of only reacting now because of the election campaign.

“The only job she cares about is her own,” he said at a campaign stop in Kamloops.

About 6.6 million tonnes of thermal coal was exported through BC ports last year, 94% of that came from the US.

Clark says banning the coal is the right thing to do for BC producers of liquefied natural gas, who can help fill the need for cleaner energy in Asia.

“And now is the right time to do it, because while good trading partners co-operate, the United States has launched this unfair assault against key sectors of our economy and the workers they employ,” she said in a news release.

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