photo courtesy of Paul K. Anderson

Northwest citizens concerned about proposed coal export facilities along the Columbia River got some good news today.  The Oregonian reported today that Kinder Morgan has decided to walk away from plans for a massive coal export terminal at Port Westward on the Columbia River near Clatskanie, Oregon.

Crag has been working with a coalition of groups including Columbia River Keeper,  Climate Solutions, and Sierra Club to keep coal exports out of Oregon and the Columbia Gorge.

Originally there were six proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest, and now three are dead (Gray’s Harbor, Coos Bay and now Port Westward).  Kinder Morgan’s Port Westward terminal near St. Helen’s was the largest of the Oregon proposals and would have exported up to 30 million tons of Wyoming and Montana coal a year to Asia.

Crag has been assisting Columbia Riverkeeper and other coalition members prepare comments on coal export  facility proposals, including the now-dead Port Westward facility.

Across the Northwest, coal export companies have faced unprecedented opposition from business owners, public health professionals, elected officials, farmers, conservationists, and many others.   Our client, Columbia Riverkeeper has been especially effective in organizing public opposition and getting people out to public hearings to voice their disapproval of coal export projects.  Kinder Morgan’s announcement came just two days after over 100 people attended a hearing to oppose the Port of St. Helens proposal to rezone agricultural land that could be used for a coal terminal, and after the City of Scappoose passed a resolution expressing concerns about coal export.

“This is another huge victory for the people of Oregon and another blow to the coal companies,” states Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director for Columbia Riverkeeper. “The evidence is in that dirty coal export plans are not viable in the Pacific Northwest. Now families across the Northwest can breathe easier knowing that the largest coal export terminal proposed in the State of Oregon is off the table.”

Crag is thrilled to celebrate this victory with Columbia Riverkeeper and all the individuals, communities and organizations that are speaking out and fighting against coal export in the Northwest.  However, the fight isn’t over , and we will continue to work diligently with our clients to ensure that Ambre Energy’s proposal for a coal export facility at Port of Morrow finds the same fate as Port Westward, Coos Bay and Gray’s Harbor.