With the price of Western Canadian oil languishing around $35 a barrel and Canadian oil sands companies hemorrhaging both workers and money, the province of Alberta sees its future in another fossil fuel: coal.
A “coal rush” in the province could see at least six new or expanded open-pit coal mines built up and down the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, mostly by Australian companies.
Together, these projects could industrialize as much as 1,000 sq km of forests, waterways and grasslands.
Alberta has eight operating coal mines and more than 91bn tonnes of mineable coal, but until recently, Alberta had a restrictive coal-mining policy that’s been in place for 44 years to protect drinking water for millions of people.
In 2015 the previous Alberta government announced a plan to eliminate coal-fired electricity by 2030, a goal Canada’s federal government embraced three years later to help fulfill Canada’s greenhouse-gas-reduction commitments to the Paris Agreement.
For the rest of this article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/15/alberta-canada-coal-rush-mining-exports