coal

Coal Risks
5:47 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Is Coal Dust Risky? Scientists Are Looking Into It

Scientists are studying the effects of coal on the surrounding environment after it leaves the train.
Credit 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.


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Coal Regulators
8:03 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Regulators Discuss Future Of Coal In The West

This image of the coal-fired plant in Colstrip, Mont., was made in the 1980s by Montana native David T. Hanson. It was part of an exhibit at Modern Museum of Art in New York.
Credit 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.

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Coal Export Proposals
6:11 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Oregon Issues 3 Permits For Columbia River Coal Terminal

This proposal would transport coal by rail from Montana and Wyoming to Boardman in eastern Oregon.
Credit 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.

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Gateway Pacific Terminal
6:43 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Goldman Sachs Backs Out Of Gateway Pacific Terminal

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.

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Coal Export Comments
6:18 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Comments On Longview Coal Export Project Reach 163,000

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.

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Coal Exports Hearings
7:05 am
Thu November 14, 2013

How Officials Manage To Review 200,000 Comments On Coal Exports

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?

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Whatcom County Council Election
6:09 am
Thu November 7, 2013

County Council Election Results Show No Love For Coal

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.

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Coal Exports
6:05 am
Tue November 5, 2013

New Research Provides More Evidence Of Coal Dust Escaping From Trains

BNSF Railway has publicly testified that up to 645 pounds of coal dust can escape from each train car on a 400-mile journey.
Credit 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.

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Northwest News
9:40 am
Thu October 17, 2013

The Little County Council Election That Could Mean Big Things For Coal Exports

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.

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Coal Exports Hearing
6:54 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Hundreds Turn Out For SW Wash. Coal Hearing

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

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