Back Back

Let’s stick to facts in coal debate

Mar 27, 2014

Royal City Record
Alan Fryer
March 25, 2014

Dear Editor:

The study referenced in your story (New study shows coal project a risk to health, The Record, March 14) has been erroneously reported to be associated with Washington State University when in fact it was a “crowd funded” study by a WSU professor who raised the money through a weather blog.

The study is simply not credible. It offers no data linking coal dust to air quality or negative health impacts.

In fact, the author of the study himself admitted in the media that the effect of coal dust “seems to be a non-issue.”

Misrepresenting the study’s actual findings for whatever reasons represents bad science, bad policy and bad journalism.

A much more credible study was done by the Northwest Clean Air Agency, which enforces government clean air standards in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. After a year’s worth of monitoring, the data shows that coal dust is simply not a cause for concern.

That’s what the unions whose members mine, load and transport coal here in B.C. have known for years.

They have stated publicly that, “coal dust and exposure have simply not appeared in our members as a health issue.”

And as for diesel emissions, let’s not forget that diesel particulates from trains are among the least significant contributors to air pollution. And moving freight by rail instead of by truck reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 75 per cent.

So by all means, let’s have this debate. But please, let’s stick to the facts.

Alan Fryer, spokesperson, Coal Alliance

Click here to view the original letter in Royal City Record.



Learn more about the coal industry.

Read More


Canadian coal sector attracts global interest

Aug 10, 2018

Read More


Canadian coal sector attracts global interest

Aug 10, 2018

Read More