Comments Due June 13 on Last, Largest Coal Terminal

With the May 9 victory of the Lummi Nation over the proposed Gateway Pacific coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, the Millennium Bulk Terminals coal port in Longview, Washington, 460 miles from Sandpoint, Idaho, could become the largest such facility in North America. Please speak out against the many direct impacts that its eight additional, fully-loaded, daily coal trains would impose on Idaho public and environmental health, by sending your written comments to Washington officials before the 11:59 pm PDT June 13 deadline.  Reference the attached Power Past Coal Millennium Bulk Terminals DEIS Talking Points and the previous Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) action alert [1].

Thanks to ongoing, inspiring work by a diverse spectrum of grassroots climate activists to mainstream environmental groups, thousands of regional residents participated and testified at three public hearings on the draft environmental impact statement for this last of six proposed coal export terminals in the Northwest [2, 3]. Three cheers for the dozens of die-hard, anti-coal organizers from across Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, who coordinated participation and arranged carpools for these hopefully historically last public hearings and rallies against Northwest coal trains and ports.

Community members including WIRT representatives attended a 4 pm rally and expressed valid concerns about fossil fuel impacts through their testimony between 1 and 9 pm at the Thursday, May 26 hearing at the Spokane Convention Center in Spokane, Washington [4]. Bravo to Jacob Johns and other event participants from Spokane and northern Idaho, who blasted the basics of the folly of approving, permitting, building, and operating the Millennium carbon bomb [5]!  We enjoyed sharing the adventure of fossil fuel resistance with co-workers and friends in Spokane, during and after the public proceedings, especially while learning that Arch Coal withdrew its interest in this coal port project [6]:

“The second largest coal company in America and last big name in the coal export game…handed over its 38 percent share in the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals in Longview, Washington, to the project’s last remaining supporter, Lighthouse Resources – a company that used to be called Ambre Energy North America…Arch itself declared bankruptcy in January…Given the dismal outlook for coal exports, the bankrupt company simply couldn’t bear the ongoing cost of keeping the project alive…Arch’s exit leaves precisely one player in the coal export game in Washington and Oregon: Lighthouse Resources, which now stands as the only backer of Millennium and which also hopes to resuscitate its nearly-defunct Morrow Pacific project in Oregon. Lighthouse owns a pair of struggling coal mines, one in Wyoming and the other in Montana, and its entire business model hinges on exporting coal into seaborne markets that are now badly oversupplied with cheap coal.” Continue reading