Coal Train, Part 3: Who gets to greenlight Bellingham’s giant coal port?

Crosscut| News of the Great Nearby, January 24, 2013
By Floyd McKay

Eight politicians, a few agency heads and an Army general will all weigh in, but the buck stops with one man.

This is the last of a three-part series on the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

2015. That’s the earliest we’ll find out if Seattle-based SSA Marine gets to build a giant coal terminal at Cherry Point north of Bellingham, the planned launch pad for shipping some 48 million tons of coal annually to Asian power plants and factories.

The stakes are high on all sides. Approval means billions of dollars for the port’s operator (SSA Marine), supplier (Peabody Coal) and shipper (Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway). It also means that citizens and municipalities near the terminal and along the shipping route will likely face health and livability issues, and the financial challenge associated with accommodating a boom in rail and ship traffic.

In this final installment of our three-part series on the Gateway Pacific process, we’ll look at who will make the final decision to build, or not to build Gateway.

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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