I wanted to give you an update on Anthony's email last week about the Longview coal export terminal in Washington State. Their plan is to build America's largest coal-export terminal right next to the Columbia River, despite the fact that it would have dire consequences to land, water, air quality and climate, not to mention do irreparable damage to Tribal Nations in the area who depend on clean land and water for their way of life.
One thing I might disagree with Anthony on though, is the likelihood that coal is going away as a major power source in America. To be sure, coal plants, mines and CEOs are going out of business, closing up shop and going to jail in the U.S. But what is not as apparent (to an observer less astute than you, of course) is that American coal companies are making huge investments in coal exports -- and those investments are buying them access and influence over a lot of elected officials too. Despite the thousands of comments and local letters opposing the project, a local county commission is expected to vote - maybe unanimously - to support the Longview coal export terminal TONIGHT.*
I know a lot of us are still riding high after the amazing Break Free actions of the last few weeks (and they WERE amazing), but we haven't won this fight: I noticed you haven't had a chance to send a comment yet, and we only have until June 13. Can you take 5 minutes right now to oppose the Longview Coal Export terminal?
Drew and the Keep It in the Ground crew at Environmental Action
* Staff, Benton County mulls supporting Columbia River coal exports, Tri-City Herald, May 15, 2016
Rachel Lodge, Coal terminals: Now reject Longview’s, The Seattle Times May 15, 2016
PS - Anthony's email from last week, with more links and footnotes on what's at stake in Longview, is below in case you want a refresher.
Coal is in a death spiral right now. Whether it's another Bureau of Labor Statistics report indicating a drop coal jobs,1 or coal companies filing for bankruptcy2 the writing is on the wall -- we're transitioning from coal and other fossil fuels by demanding a fossil fuel free future. But don't tell that to Big Coal corporation Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview (Longview). They're ignoring trying to defy the economics, the news and the climate by building a coal export-terminal along the Columbia River in Washington. But they don't just want to build any terminal, they want to build the biggest one in the United States.
If the Longview project is approved, it could send 44 million tons of coal to Asia every year.3 That would be the equivalent of adding 600,000 new cars to the road each year. And when you account for operations and all the coal that would be burned in Asia, we're talking an increase of more than 2.5 million metric tons of global warming pollution per year.4
There's really only one way to characterize such a dirty proposal: Climate Killer. That's why scientists from the Washington Department of Ecology determined that this project would result in significant impacts to the environment.4 The scientists have spoken and it's time for our government to start listening. Click here to tell the Army Corps of Engineers to reject this climate killing COALamity.
The good news is that the Army Corps have demonstrated their willingness to reject a coal terminals if they're too polluting or dangerous. Just this week, they rejected a permit for a similar facility in northern Washington.5 And it was a particularly righteous victory because they cited respect for the Lummi Nation's fishing rights as the primary reason for blocking the facility. But just because Army Corps stopped coal once, doesn't mean we can expect them to do the same thing again.
This is our chance to win another victory against fossil fuels during the Break Free week of direct actions across the globe that demand we #KeepItInTheGround. We have to act fast though, our coalition of Coal-Capping activists is aiming to get 300,000 comments opposing the Longview project before the June 13 deadline. Click here to help us reach our goal by saying NO to coal.
Thanks for sounding off,
Anthony and the Environmental Action Keep It In the Ground Crew
1. Jeffery, Terrance P. U.S. Has Lost 191,000 Mining Industry Jobs Since September 2014. CNSNews.com. May 6, 2016.
2. Shah, Jigar. Coal Industry "Up and Smoke" and it's Blaming Everyone But Itself. Huffington Post. April 18, 2016.
3. Profita, Cassandra. Environmental Impacts Linked to Columbia River Coal Project. KUOW.org. April 29, 2016.
4. Le, Foung. Study Says Coal-Export Terminal Could Have Significant Imacts. Casper Star Tribune. April 29, 2016.
5. Wohlfeil, Samantha. Army Corps Rejects Permit for Coal Terminal at Cherry Point. The Bellingham Herald. May 9, 2016.