Just when it seemed that there could not be any further problems for the coal industry in Oregon, the have been denied the chance for their controversial terminal, when the permit was denied.
Environmentalists are happy as the dock would have been used to take coal along the Columbia River and there are reports that there is politics at play regarding the rejection. The company it appears have stated that they are still hopeful that the feds will take their side when they make their review.
Liz Fuller speaking in behalf of Australia-based Ambre Energy said “We’re disappointed, but it’s not the end.” She went on to explain that there were already three permits in place but it seemed that a number of politicians were opposed to it including the Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.
It is believed that if this project was allowed to go ahead, there would be advantages for both the export industry and the national economy. At the time this report was released, NMA President Hal Quinn is quoted as saying “These findings underscore the potential for other states, especially on the West Coast, to benefit economically from sharply rising coal demand from Asia projected over the coming decades.”
Permission is also required from the Army Corps of Engineers and while they could not be forced to give a commitment, it is believed that the template they use is not as detailed as the previous ones. A spokesman has said “Our permit is limited to the impact of the specific activity on the waterway, so in this case, it’s the building of the dock. “River traffic, shipping coal – burning coal – some of these fall under the jurisdiction of other agencies but they are beyond the regulation or expertise of the Army Corps of Engineers.”
Luke Popovich speaking on behalf of NMA explained that there was a need for energy across the world“We have the most of what the world wants the most of.” He also bemoaned the fact that there had been a“well-orchestrated campaign” to prevent terminals being set up.
When trying to explain objections, the executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper Brett Vandenhuevel said the main concerns were the impact on water and air quality. He stated that “the opposition was unprecedented,” and thousands attended public meetings. He ended by saying “People really took a stand and said they don’t want to be a conduit for dirty coal.”
Liz Fullers final words were to explain that environmental concerns had been taken seriously. “It’s been tough,” she said, “but we really feel that our project really met Oregon state standards.”