This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 29, 2010 11:42 AM. The previous post in this blog was Rebellion is on against Tri-Met. The next post in this blog is Mark it down. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

The big picture

More evidence that the Port and City of Portland's grand plans to pave over West Hayden Island for a shipping terminal are all about selling coal to China.

Comments (5)

So much for clean air when that smoke starts rolling into the Pacific Northwest. Hey we can get green jobs cleaning up the forests and lakes destroyed by acid rain.

I guess we have made our decision. Which do we prefer, burning coal in our own plants, under our own guidelines or sending it someplace else where there are no guidelines at all.

Boardman plant is slated to be closed.
Fly ash is made into wallboard which then rots our houses.

From the 21Nov NYTimes (Rosenthal):

"At ports in Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Africa, ships are lining up to load coal for furnaces in China, which has evolved virtually overnight from a coal exporter to one of the world’s leading purchasers.

The United States now ships coal to China via Canada, but coal companies are scouting for new loading ports in Washington State. New mines are being planned for the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest. Indeed, some of the world’s more environmentally progressive regions are nascent epicenters of the new coal export trade, creating political tensions between business and environmental goals."


"Last year, the United States exported only 2,714 tons of coal to China, according to the United States Energy Information Administration. Yet that figure soared to 2.9 million tons in the first six months of this year alone — huge growth, though still a minuscule fraction of China’s coal imports."

Turning to the local scene,

"In Washington State, the Port of Tacoma said Friday [19Nov] that it would not host a proposed coal loading plant, citing “a multitude of business and community factors.” This week officials in Cowlitz County are expected to decide whether to grant a permit for a proposed coal port in Longview, on the border with Oregon."

But, updating,

"Cowlitz County commissioners Tuesday [23Nov] morning unanimously approved a shorelines permit for a major new coal terminal at the former Reynolds Metals Co. site west of Longview."

It is, btw, an Australian company that is going to build the coal storage facility. Cowlitz county commissioners ignored objections from concerned citizens, such as:

"Citing a study by Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, Riverkeeper claimed that thousands of pounds of coal dust would blow off trains and into rivers and streams. BN officials had not returned Tuesday morning phone calls for comment about that claim. Riverkeeper also said that burning of coal in Asia already is a major source of toxic mercury fallout in the Pacific Northwest.

'Coal export requires a small work force and wastes hundreds of acres of waterfront property to store raw coal,' according to the group. 'The proposed coal export site has tremendous potential for thousands of jobs in light industrial and smart-tech growth instead of being mired in a single commodity, dirty export trade.'

Millenium is seeking to create a 525,000-square-foot storage area, which could hold 300,000 metric tons of coal. The company also plans to repair the existing dock, replacing creosote pilings with steel, and build a new conveyor system."

Let it be shown that, while whining and lashing out at critics of his effort to appropriate approval of a half billion dollars or more for streetside bioswales, Adams simultaneously exhibited schizophrenia by seeking to pave over a several-hundred-acre wildlife preserve so we can ship and receive more coal and cars.

In other words, Adams has no commitment to the environment, to honesty, to ethics, or to reality.

The NYT offered this Correction on to Ms Rosenthal's piece:

"Correction: December 2, 2010

An article on Nov. 22 about a surge in coal imports to China misidentified the entity that recently rejected proposals for adding a coal export terminal in the Tacoma, Wash., area. It was the Port of Tacoma, an independent municipal corporation, not the city of Tacoma. The article also misstated the time frame in which the decision not to add a terminal was made. According to a port spokeswoman, officials decided not to pursue terminal proposals advanced by coal companies over a period of several weeks, ending in early November; she said they did not make the decision on Nov. 19. (That was the date on which the port first informed a publication that the terminal would not be built.)"

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