Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Corps and Washington state deny permits for what would have been nation's largest coal port

The largest proposed coal export terminal in North America hit another snag on Monday, when an application for an aquatic land lease at the Cherry Point site north of Bellingham, Wash., was denied, Joel Connelly reports for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Last month the Army Corps of Engineers agreed with the Lummi Nation of Narive Americans that it could not grant a permit for a project that would infringe on the tribe’s treaty-protected fishing rights. The $700 million coal terminal was designed to export as much as 48 million tons of coal a year. There is still a battle brewing over one remaining coal export project, the Millennium Bulk Terminals in Longview, Wash.

"Because the Corps denied a permit, and the project must have 'all necessary federal permits,' the state Department of Natural Resources 'cannot approve the lease application,' State Land Commissioner Peter Goldmark wrote to project developers," Connelly writes. "The hard-pressed coal industry was anxious to export coal mined in Montana and Wyoming. The promise of jobs secured labor and business support. " But public opposition grew about over concern about mile-long coal trains. "Environmental activists grow concerned over climate impacts, that U.S. coal would keep polluting Chinese power plants in operation. China is the world's largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions." (Read more)

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