Commissioners Postpone Coal Vote

Oct 17, 2012

The Lane County Board of Commissioners decided not to vote yet on a resolution supporting a proposed coal export terminal in Coos Bay. Still, the board took public comment on the resolution from about two dozen people at their meeting Wednesday.

The Port of Coos Bay asked commissioners to wait on a resolution because the terminal proposal is still in preliminary stages.

Board Chair Sid Leiken started the meeting saying he did not wish to vote on supporting a project that is not yet a project. A couple of people who testified support the coal terminal because it creates jobs. But most spoke against the project.

Cinthia Kokis of Eugene says she knows about coal from living in Appalachian coal country.

"We have rust colored rivers. We have flattened mountains. We have people suffering from black lung in the homes my children played in. We have poverty. Peabody Coal did not bring wealth or health to the people of Appalachia and has left them with a terrible heritage. A few profit. But the real wealth of the mountains is lost forever."

Many who spoke objected to the environmental impacts of having coal trains traveling through Oregon towns and the possibility of derailments.

A spokeswoman for the Port of Coos Bay says it's likely there will be more information about progress on the proposed terminal in the next month or so.

Copyright 2012 KLCC