Four-State Coal Export Protests & Hearings 11-17


On Saturday, November 17, between noon and 4 pm, two dozen activists from Occupy Spokane and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) converged in several high vehicle and pedestrian traffic areas in Sandpoint, Idaho, with a people’s train of “rail car” protest signs, sidewalk parades, and chants.  Rebuking schemes for five coal export facilities on the Columbia River and Washington and Oregon coasts and increased toxic coal train traffic from Montana and Wyoming across the Northwest, demonstrators distributed coal issue flyers and door hangers, encouraged northern Idaho participation in December 4 scoping hearings in Boardman, Oregon, and Spokane, Washington, on proposed Coyote Island and Cherry Point coal terminals, and mobilized a network of activists for direct actions at the hearings and in the field before respective December 12 and January 21 public comment deadlines.  As federal, state, and county decision makers and industry perpetrators of pollution and climate change discount the concerns of communities most adversely affected by potential coal export train traffic through eastern Washington, Idaho, and Montana, by staging distant opportunities for purported public input, anti-coal organizers are demanding rescheduling of the overlapping hearings, a mine-to-port programmatic environmental impact study and statement for all coal export proposals, and hearings in Idaho and Montana to expand the current exclusionary scoping process.

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