McGinn didn’t release coal study’s findings for 5 weeks
More than a month after receiving a much-hyped study on the economic impacts of sending more coal trains through Seattle, Mayor Mike McGinn quietly released the results Friday after a public-records request.
By Brian M. Rosenthal, Seattle Times staff reporter
Mayor Mike McGinn called a news conference beneath Seattle’s Great Wheel in December to announce he would request a study into the economic impact of sending more coal trains through Seattle.
But after the report was completed, the mayor waited for more than a month — and a public-records request — to quietly release the results on his blog Friday.
McGinn, who opposes the proposal to expand coal exports, wrote in a blog post that the study by local research firm Community Attributes showed the plan would have “a number of significant and concerning impacts” on Seattle.
But the plan’s supporters described the report as a win and accused the mayor of sitting on it because it did not say what he had hoped.
“He was clearly not eager to release this report,” said Lauri Hennessey, a spokeswoman for the pro-coal Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports. “He asked for this report, he didn’t like what this report said, so he just put it away.”
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With Proposed Rail Expansion, Northwest Confronts Its Clean Image
By KIRK JOHNSON
SPOKANE, Wash. — The Pacific Northwest’s sense of itself can sometimes seem green to the point of parody: a medium-roast blend of piney peaks and urban cool, populated by residents who look descended from lumberjacks or fishermen.
Now, plans by the energy industry to move increasing amounts of coal and oil through the region by rail, bound for Asia, are pulling at all the threads of that self-portrait.
Last September, the first trains of crude oil from the Bakken fields in North Dakota began chugging through. Since then, energy companies have drafted proposals for new storage, handling and shipment capability almost equivalent to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which is facing a deeply uncertain path of federal regulatory approval.
Mile-long trains from the coal mines of Wyoming already run daily, and the load could more than double if three big proposed export terminals gain approval and financing.
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ILWU formally backs Millennium coal project ahead of public hearings
Millennium Bulk Terminals officials said Thursday they will hire a stevedoring company and longshore workers at their proposed coal dock west of Longview.
Also on Thursday, officials from Millennium and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union jointly announced the union’s formal support for the proposed terminal, which Millennium estimates will support 135 full-time, family wage jobs.
“We’ve worked up close with Millennium for the past two years, and we’re confident in the company’s commitment to be a high-road employer and a positive influence in our community,” the ILWU’s Longview-based Local 21 President Jake Whiteside said in a written statement.
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County Coal plans to build US coal terminals for Powder River Basin exports
Australian-listed coal exploration company County Coal announced Tuesday plans to build a $400 million export terminal on the US west coast to establish a viable supply chain to Asian markets for its thermal coal mines in the US state of Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.
The terminal is proposed for the northwest US on a brownfield industrial site and would be able to accommodate up to 60,000 dwt Panamax vessels after dredging, and is in addition to its previously announced plan for a coal terminal in the west Canadian province of British Colombia, the ASX-listed company said in a statement.
Engineering firm Worley Parsons has recently completed a conceptual and cost study for the US coal terminal, and its location has not been disclosed by County Coal for reasons of “commercial sensitivity,” said the company, although the company said both of its planned terminals were connected by the Canadian and US rail systems to coalfields in Canada.
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State representatives tout coal exports at Vancouver event
Rep. Harris: Projects will boost state’s role as a leader in trade
Backers of three proposed coal terminals in the Pacific Northwest touted the economic benefits of the export plans during a press conference held in Vancouver on Thursday. The proposals — one in Longview, one near Bellingham and another in Boardman, Ore. — will help position “us as a global leader” in trade, said Washington state Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, who was joined by at least a dozen business and labor group officials, and other politicians from the region.
The late-morning press conference, held in a small meeting room of the Red Lion Hotel Vancouver at the Quay, got underway after an earlier briefing between representatives of Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview LLC and BNSF Railway, and the political, business and labor leaders who spoke Thursday. The briefing included a presentation by Millennium making a case for its proposed terminal.
Millennium, owned by Ambre Energy and Arch Coal Inc., wants to export up to 44 million metric tons of coal annually to China and other countries. Public meetings to determine how that project should be evaluated from an environmental standpoint will be held across the state this fall, including a tentatively slated meeting on Oct. 9 at the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds in Ridgefield.
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