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.


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.