First, the good news…

The Oregon Department of State Lands just denied a permit for Australia-based Ambre Energy’s proposed coal export terminal on the Columbia River – the first time a state agency has formally rejected a permit for one of the Northwest terminals (the terminals at Longview and Cherry Point WA have permits pending). An important precedent: In its Ambre Energy decision, Oregon recognized and gave weight to the treaty rights of Columbia River tribes.

For more information:

Port Metro Vancouver just approved a permit to expand coal export operations with Texada Quarrying Ltd and Fraser Surrey Docks LLC.
The coal will come from the Powder River mines in Montana/Wyoming via rail to the docks on the Fraser River, southeast of Vancouver BC. It is loaded onto barges that head north to Texada Island. At Texada Island the coal is loaded onto ocean-going bulk carriers that head south — right past our islands — bound for Asia.
365 more coal trains per year
640 more coal barge trips per year
50 more coal ships per year
More ships, more risk of an oil spill.
More coal to Asia, more CO2 in our globe’s atmosphere.
Not one part of this scenario is a good idea, from mining to burning, but the shipping is a particular threat to our islands’ environment/economy.
Port Metro Vancouver is an agency of Canada’s federal government mandated by the Canada Marine Act to increase trade through the port. Unfortunately, they are instrumental in making decisions that effect all of us (including the future Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion decision) with no obligation to hear us. But hear us they will! Let’s keep rattling their cages so they know that islanders care.
In order for this coal export project to proceed, Fraser Surrey Docks still needs to acquire a Waste Discharge permit, as well as one for Air Quality from Metro Vancouver. There may yet be an opportunity for us to comment, so please stand by.
For more information: (check out the video showing the coal route and how the tankers would go — a shortcut over Vancouver Island apparently)