B.C. asks you to stuff stockings with local coal
Canada’s British Columbia government is not trying to be mean by telling you to stuff your stockings with coal this coming Christmas. Unlike our Western culture tradition of threatening children who behave badly during the year with receiving a piece coal for the holydays in lieu of presents, B.C. authorities are actually trying to highlight the value of the locally-mined fossil fuel.
“Most people don’t think of coal when they go shopping for gifts, but the fact is without the coal that is mined right here in British Columbia, we wouldn't have access to things like smartphones, cars or even shopping malls," Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett said in an unusual press release.
"No matter whether you light the menorah, trim the tree or setup the Festivus Pole, your holiday activities likely have a connection to a lump of coal mined right here in British Columbia," it added.
Coal, a major B.C. export, has been suffering from a global oversupply and falling prices. However, its extraction in the province has been on the rise, and Port Metro Vancouver approved in August a massive export facility at Fraser Surrey docks, despite health and environmental concerns.
About 70% to 90% of coal produced in B.C. is metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel. The province also produces thermal coal, which is burned for heat to generate electricity and for other industrial uses.