Citizen across the Northwest can breathe easier today. Caving under the pressure of overwhelming public opposition, Kinder Morgan announced its decision to walk away from plans for a massive coal export terminal near Clatskanie, Oregon along the Columbia River.
The announcement is sending shockwaves across the Northwest, where coal export companies have faced unprecedented opposition from business owners, public health professionals, elected officials, farmers, conservationists, and many others.
“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.”
In January 2012, Kinder Morgan and the Port of St. Helens entered a lease option for the company to build a 15 to 30 million ton per year coal export terminal to serve markets in Asia. Overwhelming opposition across Oregon and the Northwest has trailed the proposal since Kinder Morgan proposed the deal. According to citizens who attended a Port Commission meeting earlier today, Allen Fore, representative for Kinder Morgan, announced that the company would no longer pursue the project. The Kinder Morgan lease was not on the Port’s meeting agenda.
Originally there were six proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest, and now three are either dead (Coos Bay and Kinder Morgan’s St. Helen’s proposal) or tabled (Coos Bay). 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.
Columbia Riverkeeper is part of the Power Past Coal coalition. POWER PAST COAL is an ever-growing alliance of health, environmental, businesses, clean-energy, faith and community groups working to stop coal export off the West Coast. Visit PowerPastCoal.org for more information.