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February 02 2012

20:21

Exporting Emissions: Coal Supplies Heading Overseas, But Pollution Will Hurt Everyone

The coal industry in the United States has found a way to increase their profits, while at the same time avoiding the cumbersome environmental standards in place to protect American citizens from coal emissions – they can just ship their filthy products overseas where regulations are scarce. As coal consumption in the U.S. has fallen in recent years, the dirty energy industry has hardly noticed, thanks to the increased demand from foreign buyers.

While the fact that the U.S. is burning less and less coal is a good thing, shipping the excess coal to foreign countries could more than negate the emissions reductions in the U.S. As Ezra Klein from The Washington Post points out:

The U.S. is burning less and less coal each year, thanks to cheap natural gas and new pollution rules. From a climate perspective, that’s a huge deal — less coal means less carbon. But here’s the catch: if the U.S. just exports its unused coal abroad, the end result could actually be more carbon…

So here’s one possible future: If we’re not going to burn our coal, someone else will. One Tokyo shipping company, Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha, says that U.S. coal exports could double in the next three or four years. In Washington state, coal companies are proposing two large export terminals that would help ship tens of millions of tons of coal from the Powder River Basin to countries like China. That, in turn, could make coal even cheaper in places like China — which might spur the country to build even more coal power plants than its current, already hectic pace. And, since carbon-dioxide heats up the planet no matter where it’s burned, this outcome could cancel out many of the global-warming benefits of the U.S. coal decline. (emphasis added.)

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December 15 2010

02:58

Coalition Challenges Permit Allowing Dirty Coal Export to Asia from WA Port

EarthJustice.org Longview coal export plan ignores impacts on human health, air quality and global climate December 13, 2010 Tumwater, WA — In an appeal filed today, a coalition of conservation and clean energy groups challenged a permit to build a coal export terminal in Longview Washington. The groups say the facility would threaten public health [...]
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November 25 2010

07:34

Commissioners Approve Coal Export Facility in Washington State

EarthJustice.org Condemn community to future of dirty coal exports November 23, 2010 Kelso, WA — The Cowlitz County Commission put its rubber stamp on a plan today that allows an Australia-based company to establish a coal export terminal in Longview, WA. The commissioners, by a 3-0 vote, granted a permit to allow the coal exporting [...]

October 18 2010

20:14
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