Columbia County Planning Commission Hearing, 5/6/13

A public hearing was held in St. Helens on Monday evening, May 6th  to consider the proposed application to rezone 957 acres adjacent to the Port Westward export terminal, setting the stage for a major expansion of the terminal.  The application is controversial because of its likely link to Kinder Morgan’s coal export proposal, which would involve over a dozen coal trains each day through Portland and Columbia County.

The hearing and the Scapoose City Council meeting on the same evening appear to have been great successes. The room for Columbia County Planning was packed, due in part to the efforts of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. Local opposition to the port expansion was fierce, articulate, and very clear. Passionate testimony was offered by farmers. fishers, Buddhists and other local residents and business owners as well as Columbia Riverkeeper lawyers. The next day, Kinder Morgan withdrew its application to export 30 to 50 million tons of coal each year through Port Westward. (See the Oregonian’s 5/8/13 article).

This makes three coal terminal proposals now pretty much defeated: Grey’s Harbor, Coos Bay, and Kinder Morgan’s Port Westward (although we remain vigilant for comebacks).  Three more to go: Cherry Point, Port of Morrow (aka Boardman), and Longview.

For more information about the hearing and upcoming resistance to coal and other energy extraction and export issues, check RT’s  Upcoming Events and the Power Past Coal website or contact info@portlandrisingtide.org.

 

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