Coal Industry Dealt Another Setback as Oregon Blocks Export Plan – Will Feds Help?

Photo Credit: MorrowPacific / Port of Morrow.US Army Corp of Engineers

Photo Credit: MorrowPacific / Port of Morrow.US Army Corp of Engineers

The coal industry has been dealt another blow after a state agency in Oregon denied a key permit for a controversial terminal, marking the latest salvo in an escalating fight between coal exporters and fossil-fuel loathing environmentalists on the West Coast.

The permit, for the Coyote Island Terminal in Oregon, was denied on Aug. 18 by the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL). Though opponents rejoiced, the company building the dock, which would be used to transport tons of coal down the Columbia River, cited it as a potential economic boon – and questioned whether politics were at play in the permit rejection.

The terminal would serve as the starting point in a shipping operation that would eventually stage and ship upwards of 8 metric tons of coal over land and river, and then onto buyers in Asia.

After the rejection by the state, the company is holding out hope that the feds will side with them as part of a separate review.

“We’re disappointed, but it’s not the end,” said Liz Fuller, spokeswoman for the Australia-based Ambre Energy, which wants to build the terminal as part of its $242 million Morrow Pacific project.

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