EarthFix, Oregon Public Broadcasting, July 16, 2013
By Bonnie Stewart
U.S. coal exports are up, but the coal isn’t leaving the country through Pacific Northwest ports. Not yet.
To date, Washington and Oregon have fielded six proposals for coal export terminals. Three of the projects are still active and moving through the environmental permitting process.
Those export terminals would provide the shortest route to top destinations for Western coal; places like South Korea and China. But building the terminals will take years.
There is, however, one port in the Pacific Northwest that doesn’t have a coal export terminal in the works — but does have just about everything needed to ship coal to Asia.
That’s the Port of Vancouver in southwestern Washington.
Right now, the high-profile commodity being considered for the Port of Vancouver is oil. The port’s commissioners are set to vote this month on a proposal from Tesoro-Savage to handle up to 360,000 barrels of crude oil per day. It’s a development that’s under the cloud of a deadly oil-train crash in Quebec.