EDMONTON, AB – Robin Campbell, President of the Coal Association of Canada, issued the following statement in response to the recent Government of Canada statements on both selenium and the future of thermal coal mining projects and project expansions:
“The Coal Association of Canada and all of its members are fully committed to the responsible development of coal. Canadian coal is among the most ethically and responsibly mined in the world.
Canada’s coal industry follows strict provincial and federal regulations to protect the environment and minimize the industry’s impact on waterways, wildlife and natural habitat. We welcome comprehensive regulation and oversight. Our coal should be developed in accordance with Alberta and Canadian values and our member companies take these obligations seriously.
We understand and acknowledge concerns about selenium. Numerous experts have put forward recommendations on how best to monitor and manage selenium using a variety of strategies. The industry has, and will continue to adopt, a ‘multiple line of defense’ approach that is part of the mine design process. We are confident these approaches will satisfy both provincial and federal requirements. The Association will provide more detailed analysis and recommendations on selenium management via an expert report prepared by Guy Gilron and Gord McKenna dated June 7, 2021. This report will be appended to our submission to Alberta’s Coal Policy Committee in the coming days.
With regard to thermal coal development, we fully support sustainable climate change goals. At the same time, we are concerned that the policy doesn’t reflect the significant progress that is being made on Carbon Capture, Storage and Use (CCSU) technology. We are already seeing positive results from CCSU technology in Canada and this can allow coal to remain an affordable part of the energy mix while meeting climate goals. Today, coal still powers over one-third of global electricity generation, and this is expected to continue until at least 2040. Further, Canadian is extremely high quality and low sulphur relative to world standards. The loss of coal from Canada will likely to be replaced by production from other countries that do not have the same commitment to our high standards.
Our report to the Alberta Coal Policy Committee will be submitted in the coming days. This submission is intended to help set the stage for a constructive, respectful and honest discussion of the future of coal development in Alberta. It is also intended to clearly share our values, which include open debate and discussion of critical issues; a commitment to facts, openness and honesty; honouring our commitments to and respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples; cherishing the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains and protecting our water. Our core values also include creating high-paying jobs in an industry that values safety and human rights.“
Coal Association of Canada