US Coal Exports
Exports Economic Contributions Report
Jun 04 2014

Governor’s Tour Promotes Coal Exports (Wyoming Public Media)

Posted in All News, U.S. Ports

Mead Visits Washington To Promote Coal Exports

A controversial coal export terminal proposed for this Columbia River town has a big supporter from Wyoming.

Governor Matt Mead was in Longview Tuesday to tour the old aluminum smelter where the The Millennium Bulk coal export terminal would move up to 44 million tons a year of Wyoming coal off trains and onto ships bound for Asia.

It’s a terminal he says is important to coal producers in his state – especially as the industry faces new regulations on coal-fired power plants in the U.S.

Mead said he sees coal exports as way to expand the market for the 400 million tons of coal his state produces annually. He’d like to see more terminals like the Millennium project, which would export up to 44 million tons of coal per year.

“That’s a lot of coal, but relative to the amount of coal we produce it’s 10 percent,” Mead said. “So this port and other ports are important to Wyoming in terms of the coal industry.”

But what he calls “unreasonable” new regulations on coal-fired power plants in the U.S. are making it harder to expand coal markets here. Even before those rules came out, coal producers in his state had been looking for Asian buyers for all that Wyoming coal.

“We’ve got to have a continuation in a real way, in an economical way so these companies can keep going, and exports are part of that future,” Mead said.

Companies hoping to be part of that future have proposed a half-dozen coal export terminals around the Northwest. The three proposals still under consideration face a long permitting process and strong local opposition.

In addition to the Longview export project, coal and transportation companies want to build a train-to-ship facility for coal exports on Puget Sound north of Bellingham. The third proposal would involve transporting coal by train to barge to ocean-going vessel with two transport facilities on the Oregon side of the Columbia River.

In all they would help transport roughly 100 million tons of coal annually from Wyoming and Montana to Asia.

Mead said expanding the overseas coal trade with export terminals like Millennium will be good for the U.S. and its trading partners. But not everyone sees the benefits he does.

Mead’s visit sparked a protest from opponents of the Millennium project. Outside the terminal site, about 30 people gathered with a bucket of coal.

“We believe his coal should be kept in the ground in Wyoming,” she said. “We don’t want it here. We don’t want it shipped to Asia, where it will be polluting the skies in Asia and will blow back pollution and creating poisonous air for us.”Diane Dick of the opponent group Landowners and Citizens for a Safe Community spoke at the protest. She said her group has a bucket of coal that came from Wyoming, and she wants to give it back to Gov. Mead while he’s in town.

Mead followed the terminal site tour by meeting with a group of Washington legislators in Longview. He said he wanted to hear their concerns and help answer their questions to build support for the Millennium project.

See article here.

  • “The fact that we’re no longer in the age of energy scarcity – that we’re in the age of energy abundance – positions the United States in a totally different place. This gives access to affordable, reliable energy in the United States, and gives the U.S. a major competitive advantage.”
    – Dave Banks, Special Assistant to President Donald Trump for International Energy, June 2017
  • “It is in the national interest to promote clean and safe development of our Nation's vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation. Moreover, the prudent development of these natural resources is essential to ensuring the Nation's geopolitical security.”
    – Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, March 28, 2017
  • “Historically, U.S. companies seeking to expand their revenues focused first on increasing their number and share of U.S customers. For years, this focus served as a winning strategy for many of the most successful U.S. companies. Today, global economic trends make clear that successful companies are those that reach and sell to consumers outside U.S. borders and around the globe.”
    — 2011 National Export Strategy, U.S. Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee
  • “Federal regulatory agencies should not require climate change studies in the course of their permitting processes for proposed facilities. Coal will be consumed around the world regardless of U.S. trade policy. The only question is whether the coal is produced here in North America, where environmental standards are high, or elsewhere.”
    — U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, January 7, 2014
  • “At present 19% of the world’s population, 1.3 billion people, lack access to electricity and on New Policy Scenario projections there will still be 1 billion people without such access in 2030. To meet the UN Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2015, 395 million more people need access to electricity. There is a strong correlation between electrification and improvement in the United Nations’ Human Development Index.”
    — International Energy Agency, Coal Industry Advisory Board
  • “Access to electricity is strongly correlated with every measurable indicator of human development”
    — Berkeley Science Review, 2008

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