Elk Valley Coal pumps $1 billion into economy: report – by Gordon Hoekstra (Vancouver Sun – November 15, 2015)

http://www.vancouversun.com/

Nearly 60 per cent goes into Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley businesses

Teck’s Elk Valley coal operations in the southeastern B.C. spent more than $1 billion on goods and services in the province in 2013, a new report by Resource Works says.

While about one quarter of that spending took place in the southern Interior region the coal operations are located, nearly 60 per cent of the money was pumped into businesses in the Lower Mainland, which includes Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

“We are trying to shine a light on a part of the economy that most people don’t see in their day-to-day lives if they live in larger cities, yet has a very significant impact on the employment prospects they enjoy and also the funding for services that governments deliver because of taxes and royalties,” Resource Works executive director Stewart Muir said Sunday.

Coal has been under attack from environmental groups and some Lower Mainland communities that say it is imperative that carbon emissions are reduced to combat climate change. These groups oppose increased coal exports through Port Metro Vancouver. They have also raised concerns over dust from coal trains and the trains’ diesel emissions.

Although the metallurgical coal mined in Elk Valley is not used directly to produce energy — but rather in the steelmaking process — it has also been caught up in the backlash.

Resource Works is funded by the Business Council of B.C. and has a 16-member advisory board that includes representatives of business, First Nations, resource-based communities and the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

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