Coal clash hits close to home

The Columbian, June 24, 2012
By Aaron Corvin and Andrea Damewood

Photo: Paul K. Anderson
Trains deliver coal from mines in the Powder River Basin and Canada to an unloading facility at a coal terminal at Roberts Bank, B.C., just north of the U.S. border. Six terminals are proposed in Oregon and Washington for coal shipments to Asia. Coal-filled trains headed to some of those proposed terminals would pass through Clark County.

After a successful fight to stop a biomass energy plant from going into downtown Vancouver, Sarah Collmer, Heather Lehman and fellow members of the Clark County Clean Air Coalition have one notch in their win column.

Yet the next battle they’ve undertaken — stopping a half-dozen proposed coal-export terminals in Washington and Oregon — will be much harder fought, and on a much larger field.

Global energy companies want to establish the Pacific Northwest as a new international hub for coal exports to feed countries hungry for electricity, primarily in Asia. No coal terminals are proposed to be built in Clark County.

Still, the circumstance of being located between points of supply and demand has thrust the county into the middle of a worldwide debate pitting the demands for fossil-fueled growth against calls to embrace renewable energy to curb the catastrophic impacts of global warming.

Read more…

About coalfreegorge

Coal is rearing its head again the Columbia Gorge. The new threat comes in the form of proposals to export coal from Wyoming to coal-fired power plants in China. The coal would be transported via uncovered rail cars through the Columbia Gorge. Many Columbia Gorge Communities in Oregon and Washington support a coal-free world, beginning at home, in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, recognizing the importance of people determining what materials are allowable for transport through their communities and watersheds. This blog exists to communicate and advocate for the public interest in issues pertaining to coal transport in the Columbia River Gorge, providing an online outlet for honest discussion and information. To inform and unite local citizens about the damaging effects of coal transport through our communities. To endorse positive and considerate dialogue with the aim of mutual understanding among diverse parties. CLEAN AIR HEALTHY COMMUNITIES NO COAL EXPORTS STOP COAL IN ITS TRACKS
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