(Corrects reference in last sentence to the projects
"exacerbating" global climate change)
By Rory Carroll
SAN FRANCISCO Aug 18 Oregon on Monday denied
Ambre Energy's request for a permit to build a coal export
terminal on the Columbia River, saying the project was not in
the best interests of the state's water resources.
The terminal would have unloaded coal from incoming trains
and stored it in warehouses before being sent by barge more than
200 miles downriver to a second site, where it would be loaded
onto ocean-going vessels to supply Asian markets.
The facility eventually would have transported more than 8
million metric tonnes of coal per year.
In a statement, Oregon's Department of State Lands said the
project "is not consistent with the protection, conservation and
best use of the state's water resources."
It added that the Australia-based Ambre did not provide
sufficient analysis of alternatives that would have avoided the
construction of a new dock and its impacts on tribal fisheries.
Environmentalists said Monday's action marks the first time
a Pacific Northwest agency has formally rejected a permit for
one of the proposed coal export terminals in the region.
"From this decision to news that China's coal consumption
levels are expected to decline, the writing on the wall is
clear: Coal exports are going nowhere fast," Devin Martin, of
the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign in Louisiana.
"This decision will only catalyze local movements against
coal exports throughout North America," he said.
A spokeswoman for Ambre said the company disagreed with the
"political decision" and said it was evaluating its next steps,
including the full range of legal and permitting options.
Ambre has 21 days to request a formal appeal of the
At least two other coal export terminal have been proposed
in the region. Energy companies argue that the projects will
create jobs and bring revenue to an area of the country still
recovering from a deep recession. Opponents argue that the
projects put precious natural resources at risk while
exacerbating global climate change.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Ken Wills)