Coal export terminal plan draws fire | KNKX

Coal export terminal plan draws fire

Nov 17, 2010

Plans for a coal export terminal on the Columbia River at Longview are coming under fire from environmental groups. Many of them showed up at a Cowlitz County commission hearing  on Tuesday.

Ambre Energy North America would send coal mined in Wyoming and Montana by train to a renovated terminal. Company CEO Jeff Torkington says Longview offers an ideal site to then export the coal by ship to Asia.

“Once this project is up and running, it will be a very positive economic impact in the local area. Operation of the terminal is forecast to create 71 full-time family wage jobs.”

But environmentalists are appalled that the Northwest could become what they call “a gateway for coal to China.” Jessie Dye does outreach for the group Earth Ministry.

“Though the Cowlitz County Commission talks about we only evaluate the projects; we don’t evaluate the product. From my standpoint, the product is climate pollution.”

The Cowlitz County planning staff recommended the Board of Commissioners approve a shoreline permit, which could happen next week. Ambre Energy needs several other permits before it can open.