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Third Coal Export Proposal Falls By Wayside in Pacific Northwest

A large U.S. pipeline developer has dropped plans to build a $200-million coal export facility in northern Oregon, the third major terminal proposal to be shelved or canceled in the Pacific Northwest. Officials at Houston-based Kinder Morgan say the Columbia River site could not optimally accommodate the 30 million tons of coal that were expected to run through the site annually, largely for markets in Asia.

While the company said the decision had nothing to do with public opposition to transporting massive amounts of coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming to the coast, critics of the plan say growing protests affected the decision.

“If that site didn’t meet their physical constraints, they would have known that… years ago when they proposed this,” Brett VandenHeuvel, director of the group Columbia Riverkeeper, told the Los Angeles Times.

Thousands of residents have signed petitions to block the project, citing concerns that the coal trains would cause pollution from coal dust and create traffic congestion. Three other coal export projects — two in Washington and one in Oregon — are still on the table.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.