Washington Sued For Blocking The Biggest Coal Export Terminal In The US

A coal mining company filed a lawsuit against Washington state in federal court Wednesday for denying a permit to build what would be the largest coal export terminal in the United States, The Washington Examiner reports.

Lighthouse Resources proposed building the Millennium Bulk Terminal to ship 44 million tons of coal to Asia from Montana and Wyoming. Washington’s Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon denied the proposal over “too many unavoidable and negative environmental effects.”

Lighthouse’s federal suit claims that Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and the Department of Ecology violated the commerce clause of the Constitution. The clause gives Congress authority “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with Indian Tribes,” implying that individual states are barred from interfering in interstate commerce.

“It’s no secret that Washington state officials are philosophically opposed to coal,” Lighthouse President and CEO Everett King said, according to The Washington Examiner. “But that does not give them legal authority to discriminate against this project and block foreign trade and interstate commerce.”

Lighthouse previously filed a lawsuit against Washington in a state court, claiming regulators based their denial on unreasonable evidence. When studying the effects of the project, the Ecology department considered nine broad categories, such as air quality and noise, and calculated the environmental effects of the coal being burned in Asia, according to phys.org.

Washington regulators have denied every proposed export terminal in the state, six in all, since 2010.

Environmentalists have drawn a “thin green line” around the Pacific Northwest and are committed to fighting fossil fuel projects proposed in the area, especially those that increase energy exports to Asia. Environmentalists’ tactics include lobbying Washington state against approving coal terminals.

China is currently experiencing a coal shortage. Although the country is trying to pivot from coal-based power and heating to using natural gas, most of the country lacks the infrastructure to use natural gas-based systems. China petitioned mining companies at the beginning of the winter to mine high-quality coal for residents to burn to stay warm.

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Comments (8)

  • Avatar

    rakooi

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    Solar – Wind is cheaper

    “King coal: dead or dying

    The flipside of the renewables BOOM is the death spiral of coal,
    the filthiest of fossil fuels / the most Govt. Supported & Subsidized.
    Production now appears to have peaked in 2013.
    The speed of its demise has stunned analysts.
    In 2013, the IEA expected coal-burning to grow by 40% by 2040
    – today it anticipates just 1%.
    The cause is simple: solar and wind are cheaper.
    But the consequences are enormous:
    in pollution-choked China, there are now no provinces where new coal is needed,
    so the country has just mothballed plans for 151 plants.

    Bankruptcies have torn through the US coal industry and in the UK,
    where coal-burning began the industrial revolution,
    it has fallen from 40% of power supply to 2% in the past five years.
    “Last year, I said if Asia builds what it says it is going to build,
    we can kiss goodbye to 2C” – the internationally agreed limit
    for dangerous climate change – says Liebreich.

    “Now we are showing coal [plants] coming down.”

    But he warns there is more to do.
    ***
    “….
    “…The Phillips disaster was a devastating series of explosions
    and fire on October 23, 1989, originating at the Phillips 66 Company’s
    Houston Chemical Complex (HCC) facility near the Houston Ship Channel
    in Pasadena, Texas, United States. The initial blast registered 3.5 on the Richter scale,
    and the conflagration took 10 hours to bring under control.

    The explosions killed 23 employees and injured 314.
    **
    “…The TVA Kingston Fossil Plant TOXIC coal fly ash slurry spill occurred
    just before 1 a.m. on Monday December 22, 2008, when an ash dike
    ruptured at an 84-acre (0.34 km2) earth lined, solid waste containment area at the
    Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant in Roane County, Tennessee.
    1.1 billion US gallons (4,200,000 m3) of TOXIC coal fly ash slurry was released.

    The coal-fired power plant, located across the Clinch River from the city of Kingston,
    uses ponds to dewater the TOXIC fly ash, a byproduct of coal combustion,
    which is then stored in wet form in dredge cells.

    The TOXIC slurry (a mixture of fly ash and water) traveled across the Emory River
    and its Swan Pond embayment, on to the opposite shore,
    covering up to 300 acres (1.2 km2) of the surrounding land, damaging homes and
    flowing up and down stream in nearby waterways such as the Emory River and Clinch River
    (tributaries of the Tennessee River). It was the largest fly ash release in United States history.
    Hundreds of thousands of dead fish and animals. Thousands of humans sickened

    …Miles of DEAD RIVERS
    **
    “…The Martin County TOXIC coal slurry spill was an accident that occurred
    after midnight on October 11, 2000 when the bottom of a coal slurry impoundment owned by
    Massey Energy in Martin County, Kentucky broke into an abandoned underground mine below.[1]
    The slurry came out of the mine openings, sending an estimated 306,000,000 US gallons (1.16×109 l;
    255,000,000 imp gal) of TOXIC slurry down two tributaries of the Tug Fork River.

    By morning, Wolf Creek was oozing with the black waste; on Coldwater Fork,
    a 10-foot (3.0 m) wide stream became a 100-yard (91 m) expanse of thick slurry.
    The spill, which contained
    arsenic and mercury,
    killed everything in the water.[2] It was over five feet deep in places
    and covered nearby residents’ yards. The TOXIC spill polluted hundreds of miles (300–500 km)
    of the Big Sandy River and its tributaries and the Ohio River. The water supply for
    over 27,000 residents was contaminated,
    and
    all aquatic life in Coldwater Fork and Wolf Creek was killed.

    The spill was 30 times larger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill
    (12 million US gallons (45,000 m3)) and one of the worst environmental disasters
    ever in the southeastern United States, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency

    Solar and wind are NOW FAR cheaper than new coal…!”

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Del

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      Rakooi is TOXIC, do you understand? TOXIC. Her TOXIC bullshit is TOXIC and she needs to do some TOXIC research about her bullshit TOXIC ancient information. TOXIC windmills deliberately murder and destroy entire species of poor defenseless birds and their manufacture and transportation deliberately produce TOXIC infectious fumes.
      Rakooi must apologize to America for her past TOXIC life and commit suicide so she doesn’t create any more TOXIC byproducts by living.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    Let China have anything, including coal, that they want. They signed the Paris Accord! They’re the good guys!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Rakooi is still a pea-brained little twerp overdosed on way too many Captain Planet and the Planeteers Marathons and watching trash like AVATAR

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Kevin

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    “Solar and wind are NOW FAR cheaper than new coal”
    Rakooi,
    Do you have facts to back up this statement?
    Perhaps you’re basing this on the tax credits wind and solar receive?
    All your frightening news stories do paint a scary story but what types of materials to you think wind and solar are made of? None of the material is harmless. Lots and lots of hazardous materials goes into the manufacture of solar cells and wind turbines.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      David Lewis

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      Rakooi is not unique. The claim that renewables are equal to or cheaper than coal is common in that group. What they do is use social cost of carbon concepts to assign ridiculously high and totally phony costs to society of emitting carbon dioxide. This is how the claim that renewables are cheaper than coal. Of course the reality is AGW is a total fraud and the costs they assign to burning coal don’t exist.

      The high cost of renewable energy is evident every where. It is has driven power prices up in many countries including Germany where hundreds of thousands of homes were cut off because they couldn’t pay the high cost of renewable energy. If renewable energy is so cheap as Rakooi claims, how come the mandate to use more increased my power rate by 15%?

      One reason coal was on the decline was Obama’s EPA war on coal. Coal is making a come back in the U.S. and in China and India there was never a decline. Even Germany, perhaps the industrial nation most concerned about global warming, has built or is in the process of building seven new coal power plants to replace its nuclear reactors.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    David Lewis

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    The cost of the phony climate change movement is said to be about a trillion US dollars a year world wide. This includes forced use of renewable energy, carbon based taxes including cap and trade, subsidies, layoffs, and other costs. However, this trillion is just about costs. We if also consider lost economic opportunity; the cost has to be much higher. Consider the biggest coal export terminal turned down by the state of Washington. This would be a major employer, the ships transporting the coal would be another big employer, not to mention the miners and increased traffic for the railroad and its employees. Considering everything, the climate change movement is a real economic disaster.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Large solar panels and windturbines are harming birds and bats the same ones protected by laws will the Green and Rakooi be suing to have all o these dismanlted? I dont think so no big headlines from the liberal press and talking heads

    Reply

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