Big Coal Faces Big Opposition in Pacific Northwest

Truthout, May 25, 2013
By Nick Engelfried, Waging Nonviolence | Report

Earlier this month, grassroots climate and anti-extraction activists in the Pacific Northwest scored a victory over one of the world’s most powerful industries. Kinder Morgan, an energy company that operates 26,000 miles of pipelines and owns 170 largely energy-related export terminals, announced it is scrapping plans to build a large coal export terminal on the Columbia River. The company has downplayed the role of community opposition to its terminal, claiming logistical considerations led to abandonment of the project. But local activists see more to the story than that.

Kinder Morgan’s decision to walk away from the Columbia came after months of steady grassroots opposition, and the company made the announcement two days after locals turned out in large numbers at a hearing to oppose the project. For environmental groups in the region, this looks like the culmination of a well-coordinated effort to protect communities along the Columbia from coal pollution.

“This announcement is great news for the Columbia Gorge and its communities who face the impacts of coal train traffic, coal dust and diesel pollution,” said Michael Lang, Conservation Director for Friends of the Columbia River Gorge, one of the groups that opposed the Kinder Morgan terminal. Along with other nonprofits like the Sierra Club, Columbia Riverkeeper, Climate Solutions, as well as a diverse coalition of volunteer-led community groups, Friends of the Gorge has been rallying citizens to speak out against the Kinder Morgan terminal and other proposed coal export projects in the region.

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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One Response to Big Coal Faces Big Opposition in Pacific Northwest

  1. Congratulations. Grass roots can and do make a difference. My home county in New Mexico was the 1st in the nation to recently ban fracking and oil extraction due to a largely local effort.

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