Coal Export Review To Include Powder River Basin

Feb 14, 2014

Port facilities that would export Powder River Basin coal through the Pacific Northwest are continuing to move towards construction.

In separate decisions this week, Washington and Oregon both announced progress on permitting for coal export terminals in their respective states.

In Washington, regulators said their review of the Millenium Longview Terminal will take into account the full range of potential impacts from the 44-million ton export facility. Those include everything from train traffic in the Powder River Basin to the climate effects of burning the coal in its likely destination, Asia. In a prepared statement, Millenium CEO Ken Miller said while the company had hoped to be operating by now, it’s pleased that regulators are moving forward with evaluation of the environmental impacts.

In Oregon, the state issued the first three of half a dozen permits for Ambre Energy’s proposed Coyote Island Terminal, while also adding a step to the permitting process. Regulators say they will now require a water quality certification for the 8.8-million ton export facility.

There are currently three proposed export terminals in the Pacific Northwest. Several others have been scrapped in the face of mounting opposition and weakening demand for U.S. coal in Asia.