• WA Public Land Commissioner Denies Sublease for Milennium Coal Terminal

    Train unloading coal at Millennium terminal in June 2011

    Train unloading coal at Millennium terminal in June 2011

     

    The outgoing Washington State Public Lands Commissioner today announced his decision to deny Millennium Bulk Terminals’ sublease of state-owned land in Longview.

    Millennium Coal’s plan was to sublease the land from Northwest Alloys to build a controversial coal terminal in Longview.

    Commissioner Goldmark explained “The message of today is I’m taking steps to protect state-owned aquatic lands.  That’s part of my responsibility as commissioner of public lands.”

    From the Oregonian:

    The company was looking to build a terminal with the capacity to export 44 million tons of coal annually to buyers in Asia. That would have involved bringing some 16 coal trains a day down the Columbia River Gorge from Wyoming and Montana. Tribes, community members along the route, and conservationists weighed in by the thousands against the project, which was first proposed in 2010. But it also attracted some support from organized labor.

    The decision continues a winning streak for opponents of fossil fuel export terminals in the Northwest. Federal, state and local authorities have rejected more than a dozen proposals in Oregon and Washington to export coal, oil, natural gas and propane. There are still three proposals pending on the Columbia, including an oil export terminal in Vancouver and two methanol export terminals at the Port of Kalama and Port Westward near Clatskanie.

    “This is a huge victory for tribes and communities that have fighting this proposal for years,” said Lauren Goldberg, an attorney for the conservation group Columbia Riverkeeper. “It’s an exciting way to start the new year.”

    Millennium Bulk Terminals could not be reached for comment. There is no administrative process to appeal the decision, Goldberg said, though the company could sue the state.

    Read the full Oregonian article here: Washington to reject coal export terminal near Longview

  • Portland City Council Passes Fossil Fuel Ban

    portland-oregonThe Portland City Council has become the first in the nation to pass a zoning ordinance banning fossil fuel storage facilities.

    Portland Mayor Charlie Hales called it “the first stone in a green wall across the West Coast”.

    Portland’s move has been praised by environmental groups, including Rosemere Neighborhood Association, with the hope that Portland be the first of many cities to ban future coal, oil and other fossil fuel facilities.

    You can read more information here from the Oregonian: Portland City Council bans new bulk fossil fuel terminals

     

     

  • Power Past Coal Campaign – RNA letter to Vancouver City Council

    Train unloading coal at Millennium terminal in June 2011

    Train unloading coal at Millennium terminal in June 2011

    On June 19, 2012, Rosemere Neighborhood Association submitted a letter to Vancouver Mayor, City Council and City Managers asking the City of Vancouver to join in the efforts by Governor Kitzhaber and Senator Patty Murray to call for a regional Environmental Impact Statement regarding the doubling of international coal exports through the Pacific Northwest. Seven mega coal terminals are proposed to ship 157 million tons of coal annually to China. The coal trains will flow daily through Vancouver, spewing toxic residue with each train.

    Excerpted from the letter, which was presented at Vancouver City Council meeting, Monday, June 25, 2012:

    Facing the slowing of U.S. coal fired power plants, coal companies like Massey and Arch Coal are looking to harvest and ship an additional 157 million tons of coal per year, sending 30 – 60 trains per day through the Columbia River Gorge via Portland and Vancouver, where it is intended to be shipped to Asia. Each and every car from a coal train can unleash 500 pounds of coal dust. The coal trains proposed to run through Portland and Vancouver will be 75 miles long, each day making the Pacific Northwest the largest coal chute in the nation, originating in Montana’s Powder Ridge Basin. There are various international coal export terminals proposed for Oregon and Washington, and should they proceed unabated, the health and environmental impacts to our region and our way life will be substantial.

    To view the letter in its entirety: Coal to City Council

  • Power Past Coal Rally, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland Oregon

    Power Past Coal Rally 5-7-12

    Power Past Coal Rally, Portland, OR 5-7-12

    The Power Past Coal Rally began at noon on a bright, sunny, spring day with a chant from various members of the Riverkeeper Alliance: “Clean Coal is a Dirty Lie!”

    Power Past Coal Rally At Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square 5-7-12

    Power Past Coal Rally At Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square 5-7-12

    Columbia Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, Climate Solutions and Greenpeace sponsored the Power Past Coal event with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Environmental Attorney and Chairman of the Waterkeeper Alliance, as the featured speaker. Kennedy, who has been working against coal for more than 30 years, has been dubbed “Hero of the Planet” by Time Magazine.

    Facing the slowing of U.S. coal fired power plants, coal companies like Massey and Arch Coal are looking to harvest and ship 150 million tons of coal per year, sending 30 -50 trains per day through the Columbia River Gorge via Portland and Vancouver Neighborhoods, where it is intended to be shipped to China. Each car from a coal train can unleash 500 pounds of coal dust. The coal trains proposed to run through Portland and Vancouver will be 75 miles long each day making the Pacific Northwest the largest coal chute in the nation, originating in Montana’s Powder Ridge Basin.

    Toxins emanating from the transport and burning of coal include mercury, arsenic, lead, sulphur dioxide, and ozone among 50 known contaminants. Health impacts, especially for young children, include mental retardation, impacts to speech and gait, lung and liver damage, autism and blindness. Estimates show that 300,000 to 600,000 children are exposed to high levels of mercury each year stemming from the coal industry. Coal emissions also exacerbate asthma, emphysema, can cause cancer, and contaminate rivers and fish, and can also reduce rainfall and snow pack caused by climate change. Just last week, Portland General Electric opposed the placement of a coal terminal near its power plant because dirty coal would hamper plant operations, and Oregon’s Governor Kitzhaber requested a regional Environmental Impact Study to identify public health and environmental impacts expected from seven proposed coal terminals in Oregon and Washington State. [Read More...]

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