Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:35 pm
A multinational banking giant is backing away from a proposal to build the West Coast’s biggest coal export project near Bellingham, Washington.
New York-based Goldman Sachs has sold its stock back to the companies proposing to build the Gateway Pacific Terminal. If built it would transfer 48 million tons of Wyoming coal each year from trains to ocean-going vessels bound for Asia.
Dozens of crab pot buoys dot the waters around Lummi tribal member Jay Julius’ fishing boat as he points the bow towards Cherry Point – a spit of land that juts into northern Puget Sound near Bellingham, Wash.
A relatively small county council election in Washington state’s far northwest corner could play a major role in the future of the US coal industry.
The Whatcom County council could end up casting the deciding votes to permit the controversial dock for the Gateway Pacific Terminal, which would transfer coal from trains onto ships bound for Asia. It would be the largest coal export terminal on the West Coast.
China plans to cut coal consumption in major northern cities including Beijing and Shanghai by 2017 to curb pollution. Could this impact demand for Wyoming coal and proposed (and controversial) coal export terminals in Washington state? Marcie Sillman talks it over with David Roberts who writes for the Seattle-based environmental magazine, Grist.
But McGinn did not release the report to the public until The Seattle Times filed a public records request. Then the mayor posted the study to his blog on Friday afternoon, within nine minutes of giving a copy of the report to The Seattle Times.
When asked about the delay on the July 10 report, McGinn told EarthFix and KUOW, “That wasn’t the final because my staff and others provided comments to them and they made substantial revisions after that.”
A proposal to build the West Coast’s biggest coal export terminal will face stiff environmental scrutiny.
On Wednesday a joint release from the Washington Department of Ecology, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and Whatcom County, Wash., announced they will consider climate change, human health and the environment when it comes to a coal port near Bellingham, Wash. And they’ll look at the entire route from Western mines to coal-burning plants in Asia.
President Barack Obama’s wide-ranging plan for action on climate change, announced Tuesday at Georgetown University, includes regulating carbon emissions from existing coal-burning power plants for the first time. In the Pacific Northwest, relatively little coal is used, but one of the region’s biggest coal consumers is sticking with its plans to keep relying on the dirtiest of all fossil fuels.
Worth Listening To: A Music Recommendation Are you stuck in a music listening rut? We are surrounded by new music and innovative artists. Branch out! New music recommendations every Tuesday at 9:20 a.m. This time Seattle Weekly classical music writer Gavin Borchert recommends Seattle musician Hope Wechkin.
Anticipating The Big Northwest Earthquake There was a time, 90 years ago when the Puget Sound area was declared “earthquake-proof” by a prominent geologist. As scientists have continued to study the Northwest, however, they’ve come to realize that statement couldn’t be further from the truth. This area is in fact prone to not just earthquakes, but mega-quakes too. Sandi Doughton, science reporter for The Seattle Times explains what scientists know about the “the big one" that is due to strike the region.
The federal agency in charge of approving Northwest coal export terminals delivered a setback for environmentalists, telling a congressional panel Tuesday morning that it will not be considering the area-wide effects of transporting coal, or the global impact of burning it in Asia.
Ron Eng is a geologist at the Burke Museum. He took a look at samples collected by a diver in the water near Seattle's Ballard Locks. These and other field samples were gathered for a lawsuit against coal companies and a railway.
Crowdfunding campaigns are popular ways to raise money for fledgling businesses and independent projects — and now scientific research. As state and federal agencies begin the environmental review process for the largest coal export terminals on the West Coast, some scientists are turning to the public for help with research of their own.
The debate over exporting Wyoming and Montana coal through terminals on the Northwest coast has been heating up in recent months. Those who support exporting coal say the terminals will create thousands of jobs and tax revenue for the state. Opponents have raised concerns about the potential environmental and health impacts of coal. Now, some of them are taking matters into their own hands.