Nova Scotia seeking firms to explore possibility of digging out remaining coal

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s Liberal government wants to retrieve coal from old mines, even as its federal counterpart aims for the phasing out of coal-fired electricity.A provincial request for proposals is asking firms to determine if it would be viable and safe to mine coal left around inactive, underground shafts in the Westville area.Pictou County has many shafts beneath communities — including the town of Westville — where underground coal mining took place for generations before the industry declined.The walls and roofs left around the abandoned, underground shafts contain coal, but questions remain about its grade and the risks involved in removing it through an open pit operation.A spokeswoman for the province says any potential operation would be a surface mine and that the coal would be used for electrical generation.Stephen Thomas, the energy co-ordinator of the Ecology Action Centre, says the proposal makes little sense in the context of a federal goal of ending coal-fired electrical generation by 2030 to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.“This is a very bad idea. We’re living in the era of the climate crisis,” he said in an interview.“Looking for more coal to dig up and burn is absolutely the wrong move in 2019 from a climate point of view and from the economic point of view.”The federal Liberal government has said it is aiming to cut its carbon-dioxide emissions by about 200 million tonnes by 2030 with policies like the carbon tax and phasing out coal power.Federal regulations call for all coal power to either be converted to natural gas, have capture-and-storage technology, or be closed by 2030.However, Ottawa is looking at equivalency agreements with some provinces that could allow some to continue past 2030 if they can make equivalent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in other areas.JoAnn Alberstat, spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Mines, said in an email that Nova Scotia’s greenhouse gas emissions are already close to a third below 2005 levels.“Our approach to phasing out coal reflects the emission reductions we have already achieved, while keeping electricity rates affordable,” she wrote.Sean Kirby, director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia, says mining companies have to post reclamation bonds and get government approval of reclamation plans before any permits are issued and before any exploration or mining activity can take place.The lobbyist for the industry said coal mining creates jobs, and locally produced coal would be cheaper than imports of the fossil fuel.“While Nova Scotia has significantly reduced its use of coal for power generation, coal still provides over half of the province’s electricity,” he wrote in an email.Nova Scotia’s Pictou County has been home to many mining operations since the end of the 18th Century, with the best known mine being the Westray coal mine.On May 9, 1992, the facility was the scene of a disaster that claimed the lives of 26 miners when a deadly combination of methane gas and coal dust ignited.— Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on TwitterMichael Tutton, The Canadian Press read more

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Scores of persons attend lightup of 70foot Christmas tree

Gaskin, who also holds the Tourism portfolio, said many tourists have become accustomed to seeing the tall structure during the holiday season, in addition to other erected depictions at the various religious and cultural festivals. He encouraged those gathered to continue acts of goodwill, as this is the season of giving.The illuminated tree at Parc Rayne on Sunday eveningThe event’s host, Mr Rahaman, thanked the business community for supporting the event, and for throwing in their lot when the event was almost halted following the tree’s collapse. He noted that the Pritipaul Singh Investment Company donated the use of its 100-foot crane to hoist the lights onto the alternate Christmas tree.The Rahaman’s Park Christmas tree light-up has become synonymous with the holidays season in Guyana. …new tree for Rahaman’s Park in the coming days – Rahaman The 12th annual Rahaman’s Park Christmas tree light-up went off without any hitches on Sunday night, following the near cancellation of the event when the 70-foot artificial tree fell at the hands of suspected saboteurs.Proprietor Ray Rahaman has indicated that he hopes to have the tree replaced within 7 to 10 days. However, its replacement, a similar 70-foot, but evergreen Christmas tree, illuminated the night sky in the sight of the Rahamans, Business Minister Dominic Gaskin, and the exuberant faces of many children from contiguous communities, who were earlier given toys and snacks at the event, which drew a sizable gathering.The evening’s proceedings began with the lively sound of steel pan music playing the popular rendition “Merry Christmas to You”. Other attention grabbing performances included an up-tempo medley of “Have yourself a merry little Christmas”, “Gloria” and “Feliz-Navidad!” by the Queen’s College Music Ensemble.A section of the gathering during the cultural show just outside Rahaman’s Park on the East Bank Demerara highwayThe all-male group released the sounds of the acoustic and bass guitar as they played their set. Additionally, a saxophonist and dance group also kept the audience entertained.Business Minister Dominic Gaskin, in brief remarks, observed that it was indeed unfortunate that the old tree, which stood at a major road intersection, could no longer be seen. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedSabotage suspected after Rahaman’s Park Christmas tree collapsesDecember 3, 2017In “Local News”200 children receive gifts at Rahaman’s Park Christmas tree light upDecember 10, 2016In “latest news”Two nabbed with Rahaman’s Park Christmas tree strapsDecember 3, 2017In “Crime” read more

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