US Coal Exports
Exports Economic Contributions Report
Nov 06 2014

County Officials Protest Over-Reaching State Coal Exports Review (The Daily News)

Posted in All News, U.S. Ports

County commissioners rebuke Ecology official over state coal review

Cowlitz County officials say the state may be putting the county in economic jeopardy by requiring excessive environmental review of the Millennium Bulk Terminals’ coal export project.

The county commissioners blistered a representative of the state Department of Ecology about the matter at a hearing earlier this week.

“We have competitors all around the globe who just open up shop” without needing multi-year, multi-million dollar environmental impact studies, Commissioner Jim Misner said.

At the Tuesday hearing, the commissioners were asked to approve an $1.3 million amendment for the Ecology’s review of the Millennium’s proposed terminal west of Longview. The study must include a review of coal dust exposure, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, energy and natural resources and a coal market assessment. The four-year study, already underway, will take at least until 2016 to complete. It was mandated by the administration of Gov. Jay Inslee.

Cowlitz County is a partner in the study.

Millennium wants to ship 44 million tons of coal through Longview each year. Commissioner Dennis Weber said that would represent only about 1 percent of the total Asian coal market. He questioned the need for such in-depth studies. The environmental study will cost $8.6 million and be paid for by Millennium.

“It’s going to cost the applicant (millions) to decide if that less than 1 percent is a significant impact,” Weber said. He noted that courts have warned that studies should focus on the “probable and significant” impacts of projects and not be overly broad.

Diane Butorac, regional planner for Ecology, told the commissioners the broad scope of study is needed to determine what permits must be issued. She said state law allows studies to consider factors beyond the state’s boundaries

“We’re not doing an assessment for business purposes but to see where the coal would be going and in what quantities so we can then determine exactly what you’re asking, what is attributable to the project,” Butorac said.

Butorac said the draft Environmental Impact Statement should be ready for public review by the end of 2015.

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
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    — Berkeley Science Review, 2008

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