The coal giants–Peabody, Arch, and the like– are seeking outlets to export strip-mined coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin to the Asian market. Impacted communities in Washington are already fighting two proposed coal export projects in Longview and Bellingham.
In early December, 2011, the Port of Coos Bay announced “Project Mainstay,” a collaboration between the Port of Coos Bay and “unnamed partners” (CB World) to build a coal export terminal on the North Spit.
Coos Bay was previously seen as less viable port for coal export because of depth and accessibility. Last year, however, the Port of Coos Bay updated and reopened the Eugene-Coos Bay Rail Link, and in December Oregon’s Department of State Lands approved a plan to dredge the Coos Bay estuary.
Project Mainstay would likely have two trains rolling through Eugene on a daily basis out to the Port of Coos Bay, each train typically carrying 120 cars, 120 tons of coal per car (CB World).
There are many reasons to take a stand against coal export: to support communities impacted by strip mining, coal dust, dredging, and pollution where the coal is burned. To discourage the use of fossil fuels as global climate change reaches the point of no return. To prevent the investment of public money and labor in volatile markets.
Here’s a video that gives a first hand look at effects of coal dust and what could happen here in Eugene:
Let’s get together to stop the development of dirty coal infrastructure in its tracks!