US Coal Exports
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Jul 19 2017

Millennium coal terminal gets first permit from Cowlitz County (The Colombian)

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Millennium coal terminal gets first permit from Cowlitz County

LONGVIEW — Millennium says it has entered a “new phase” in its five-year effort to build one of North America’s biggest coal terminals after Cowlitz County officials issued the first permit needed for the $680 million project.

Cowlitz County Building and Planning officials confirmed Wednesday that they’ve issued a Critical Areas Permit, the first of eight permits the company needs from the county.

Overall, the company needs 23 permits from various federal, state and local agencies. Yet Millennium officials say this is an important first step in permitting the Columbia River terminal.

“Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview has entered a new and exciting phase with the receipt of our Critical Areas Permit,” said Bill Chapman, Millennium CEO and president in a prepared statement. “Today this project took another significant step forward. We are absolutely delighted to see the agencies begin permit issuance based on their extensive Environmental Impact Statement.”

Opponents have 30 days to appeal the Critical Areas Permit to Cowlitz County. Power Past Coal, a coalition of several environmental groups, is still evaluating whether or not it will appeal, said Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, organizer with Columbia Riverkeeper.

In issuing the permit, Cowlitz County largely approved of Millennium’s proposed mitigation plan — an expansive document detailing the steps the company would take to compensate for environmental damage to the floodplain, wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat around the terminal.

“It’s not an authorization to go construct, but it’s saying, ‘Hey for all your critical area activity, this is what you’re going to have to do to be compliant,’ ” said Nick Little, deputy director at Cowlitz County Building and Planning.

Millennium has yet to receive the most significant permit from the county though: a shoreline permit, which usually is accompanied by a multi-day public hearing.

Coal opponents point out that Millennium still has several hurdles to overcome. Beyond permitting, the company is appealing a decision by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to deny an aquatic lands sublease needed for the project.

Permitting for the Longview coal dock has stretched on for five years. At full built out, the terminal would export 44 million tons of coal annually — boosting U.S. coal exports by 40 percent.

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.”
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  • “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.”
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  • “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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