Gulf Coast Communities Empowered as Another Coal Export Proposal is Rejected

Landmark decision deals heavy blow to coal export proposals in United States

NEW ORLEANS, LA–(ENEWSPF)–August 19, 2014.  The growing movement against coal exports scored a major victory today when the Oregon Department of State Lands rejected a vital permit for Ambre Energy’s proposed Morrow Pacific coal export project along the Columbia River. The historic decision deals a severe blow to Ambre Energy’s struggling proposal and marks the first time a state agency formally rejected a permit for one of the proposed coal export terminals.

Already four proposed new or expanded coal export facilities have been canceled in Texas and Alabama, and four of six proposals on the Pacific Northwest coastline have been canceled. Today’s news also casts further doubt on the long term viability of coal exports from the United States as the international coal market continues to be volatile and under pressure from economic forces and growing grassroots opposition in India, China and Australia.

Kia Ball, campaign coordinator for the Clean Gulf Commerce Coalition, issued the following statement in response:

“Today’s decision to reject Ambre Energy’s proposed coal export terminal deals a heavy blow to coal proposals here in the Gulf as well as the remaining proposals in the Pacific Northwest. After thousands of Oregon residents stood up in opposition, state leaders made the right call. Now, local movements across the continent will use this victory as a springboard to fight coal export proposals in their own communities.

From the Columbia River to the Puget Sound and down to the Gulf of Mexico, the coal industry has found itself to be an unwanted visitor. Instead of rolling out the welcome mat, residents have rolled up their sleeves, banding together to reject dirty coal and build a brighter, cleaner future for everyone.

The Clean Gulf Commerce Coalition launched its efforts to stop coal exports in Louisiana less than a year ago, yet already ‘No Coal Trains’ signs have popped up in hundreds of front yards in communities near proposed or existing coal terminals and train routes. More than one hundred Gretna residents attended last week’s City Council meeting to speak out against coal export terminals and the trains that would feed them.

As communities in Louisiana, Texas and Alabama learn more about the pollution, noise and lowered property values from coal export facilities, more and more people will join their neighbors and allies in the Pacific Northwest in opposing these dirty and dangerous projects.

The Coalition and our partners applaud today’s decision by the Oregon Department of State Lands and call on state agencies here in Louisiana, Texas and Alabama to reject permits for new or expanded coal export terminals. The Gulf Coast movement against coal exports will only grow, and victories like this will empower our leaders to protect their communities and reject coal exports.”

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The Clean Gulf Commerce Coalition includes Air Alliance Houston, Gulf Restoration Network (GRN), the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN), Public Citizen, Sierra Club, TOP (Texas Organizing Project) and  T.E.J.A.S., (Texas Environmental Advocacy Services).

Source: sierraclub.org