coal

Courtney Flatt

More than 100 people showed up today  in Pasco to a final public hearing for a proposed coal export terminal. And most of them supported it.  

David Gillihan works at Millennium Bulk Terminals. He echoed one of the main reasons people voiced support of the terminal: jobs.

“All of you with your lofty ideals, those who oppose us, deny us the opportunity to make a good living doing what we want,” Gillihan said.

By the year 2030, the electricity that most Oregonians use won't be powered by coal. That's the goal of a measure that's moving through the Oregon Legislature. The state House approved the plan Tuesday.

Mark Herren / Flickr

Coal has been transported around the country by rail for decades. But very little research has been done on what coal does to the environment when it escapes from trains.With two large coal export terminals proposed for Washington state, one federal agency is hoping to add good science to the debate over coal in the Northwest.


David T. Hanson / EarthFix

The Obama administration’s new rules to cut CO2 emissions sparked some interesting conversation in Seattle this week. At a conference held downtown, leaders in the energy sector gathered to talk about the future of coal in the West. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

SP8254/Flickr

A proposal to transport coal down the Columbia River is one step closer to starting construction. Oregon environmental regulators Tuesday issued three permits for the Morrow Pacific project.

Goldman Sachs Backs Out Of Gateway Pacific Terminal

Jan 8, 2014

One of the key backers of the largest proposed coal export terminal in North America has just announced… they’re backing out. The Gateway Pacific Terminal could still be built near Bellingham, Washington.

Comments On Longview Coal Export Project Reach 163,000

Nov 19, 2013

A public comment period ended Monday in the environmental review of the Millennium coal export project in Longview, Washington. Officials have collected 163 thousand comments so far.

Across the Northwest, thousands of people are weighing in on controversial new fossil fuel projects. Agencies have collected more than 200,000 public comments on coal export and oil-by-rail proposals. What happens to all those comments?

It was called "the obscure county election that could change the planet". The Whatcom County Council election has been in the spotlight this fall because the council will eventually decide whether to approve or deny some key permits for the largest coal export terminal on the West coast.

gibbseynz/Flickr

As Washington and Oregon consider proposals for three coal export terminals, many have raised questions about how much coal dust could come off the trains that would service those terminals. If the Gateway Pacific Terminal is built near Bellingham up to 18 coal trains could travel along the I-5 corridor every day. According to new research, some dust will escape from those trains.

There’s a county council election taking place in the far Northwest corner of Washington state that could play a major role in the future of the U.S. coal industry.

Whatcom County could one day be the home of the largest coal export facility on the west coast – which would transfer coal from trains onto ships bound for Asia.

The Whatcom County council could cast the deciding votes in the permitting of the Gateway Pacific Terminal.   

That’s put this election in the spotlight.

Hundreds Turn Out For SW Wash. Coal Hearing

Oct 10, 2013

Around 800 people turned out for a coal export project hearing in Ridgefield, Washington Wednesday.

About 450 people turned out for the public hearing in Spokane last night on a proposed coal shipping facility in southwest Washington. It was the second of five statewide hearings hosted by the state Department of Ecology, Army Corps of Engineers, and Cowlitz County.

A series of public hearings on the Millennium coal export project in Longview, Washington begin Tuesday. New rules in China and declining coal prices worldwide are raising questions about whether the project will pan out.

Columbia River Coal Comments Most in DEQ History

Aug 26, 2013
Chris McKenna / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon environmental regulators have been sifting through more than 16,000 comments about a proposed coal export terminal along the Columbia River. the public comment period recently closed.

GovInslee

Governor Jay Inslee was in Arlington, Washington Wednesday to celebrate the opening of a new cleantech facility that will employ 70 people.

The Mayor’s office has released a report detailing the potential economic impacts of coal exports on Seattle. The report looked at how an increase in coal train traffic through the city would affect property values, roads, traffic and local businesses.

Coal Terminal To Get Environmental Review

Jul 31, 2013

The largest coal export terminal proposed for the Northwest has moved one step further in the environmental review process. 

SW Washington Port Set For Crude Oil Vote

Jul 19, 2013

Commissioners with Southwest Washington's Port of Vancouver are scheduled to hold a workshop and a vote on a controversial oil terminal lease.

Cassandra Profita

Coal opponents danced, waved banners and cheered Tuesday outside a Portland hearing about a proposed export terminal. It was a quieter scene inside the meetings in Eastern and Western Oregon, where officials heard hundreds of public comments.

Decumanus / Wikimedia Commons

Crowds have turned up throughout the Northwest to voice their opinions about proposed coal export terminals. At times the public hearings have been confrontational.

A new survey finds support for coal export terminals has dropped over the past year among Northwest residents. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Chris McKenna / Wikimedia Commons

The debate over coal exports in the Northwest moved to Washington D.C. Tuesday. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn testified alongside representatives from the mining and natural gas industries in a congressional hearing about energy exports.

Climate Change Concerns Enter Into Coal Export Debate

Jun 18, 2013
Katie Campbell

There are now three coal export terminals under consideration in the Pacific Northwest.

The prospect of exporting coal from Wyoming and Montana to be sold on the Asian market has many raising questions about the local and regional environmental impacts of moving that coal through the Northwest.

Ashley Ahearn reports on how that issue is playing into the debate over coal exports in Washington and Oregon.

Callum Black / Wikimedia Commons

Environmental groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. district court against BNSF Railway and several coal companies. The groups say that the rail and coal companies are violating the Clean Water Act by allowing coal to escape from trains that travel through the region.

The number of coal export terminals proposed for Oregon and Washington has dropped from six to three. But a dozen Northwest groups aren’t backing down from their call for a regional impact study of the coal projects.

The groups filed a legal petition Wednesday with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They want the corps to study the environmental impacts of transporting coal by train and barge from mines in Montana and Wyoming to shipping terminals.

Audio Pending...

Crowdfunding Coal Science

May 21, 2013
Katie Campbell

Crowdfunding and kickstarter campaigns have become popular online tools to raise money for fledgling businesses and independent projects. Scientists are starting to use these sites to fund research as well.

State and federal agencies have begun the environmental review process for the two largest coal export terminals on the West coast. Now there are some scientists who are asking the public to chip in for studies about the impacts of exporting coal. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

Roger Geach / Wikimedia Commons

The number of coal export terminals under consideration in the Northwest has dropped to three, that’s from a high of six last year.

New Anti-Coal Coalition Launches

Apr 22, 2013
Decumanus / Wikimedia Commons

A coalition of tribal leaders and politicians gathered at Golden Gardens in Seattle to Monday to announce the formation of a new group that opposes coal exports in the Northwest.

Callum Black / Wikimedia Commons

A coalition of environmental groups that oppose exporting coal through terminals in the Northwest have announced plans to file a lawsuit against BNSF Railway and several coal companies. The groups say coal that escapes from trains is polluting the water and should be regulated under the Clean Water Act.

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