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Business | Energy | Environment | local | NewsFeb. 8, 2016 8:15 p.m.
A company out of Texas called Waterside Energy has proposed what would be the West Coast’s first refinery in more than 25 years at the Port of Longview on the lower Columbia River. Waterside's plan calls for a facility capable of refining 30,000 barrels of oil and 15,000 barrels of biofuel each day. The proposed project would also include a propane and butane terminal handling 75,000 barrels per day.
Dozens of people drove hundreds of miles from Wyoming, Montana and Idaho to Spokane Thursday to weigh in on a proposed coal export terminal.
Hundreds of people from Oregon and Washington gathered at a public hearing in Longview, Wash., Tuesday to offer their views on the proposed Millennium Coal Terminal.
Here’s your guide to coal in the Northwest: The latest on where the terminals are proposed and how increased train traffic may affect communities along way.
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These are photos from Cassava, where we recorded Our Town: Longview.
Negotiations between the local longshore union and the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association may not be resolved by Sunday when the current contract expires. According to The Oregonian, the consortium of grain exporters hopes to model the new contract on the one between longshoremen and grain terminal operators in Longview, Washington. That contract agreement came after a long fight that tied up grain exports during the busy harvest season this time last year.
Hundreds of members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) stormed the Port of Longview early Thursday morning. They reportedly overpowered security guards, even holding some hostage for a short time, in order to sabotage rail cars, dumping loads of grain onto the ground. The day before, members of the union held two protests along the rail route. They gathered with picket signs in Vancouver in the morning, blocking a train carrying a large shipment of corn bound for the new grain terminal at the Port of Longview. Later in the day, after the train was allowed to go through, a smaller group of protesters stopped it in Longview. After several arrests, the train shipment made it to the port. These are just the latest battles in a long fight between the union and the company that owns the terminal. Protesters blocked another shipment earlier this summer and since then, EGT Development, which owns the grain terminal, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB challenged some of the union's other tactics in court and won a federal restraining order to keep them from blocking access to the port. It's unclear whether the Wednesday morning protest violated the restraining order, since it took place in Vancouver and not on port property. This longstanding dispute stems from EGT's stance that they're not bound by ILWU's contract with the Port of Longview to hire its members to staff the terminal. The ILWU claims it has a right to those jobs. After talks between EGT and ILWU broke down in January, the company hired a contractor to bring in workers from a different union: the International Union of Operating Engineers. The situation has garnered national interest and it's only going to get more heated, it seems, as harvest season ramps up on Washington's bumper crop of wheat.
A lot of the biggest Northwest environmental stories surrounded energy issues. Coal plants in Centralia, WA, and Boardman, OR both faced pressure to close their doors sooner than planned. Those closures come at the same time that Longview, WA and Bellingham, WA proposed coal export terminals to ship the resource to China. Idaho joined in on the national push toward "fracking" for natural gas. And the federal decision to postpone the Keystone XL oil pipeline has raised the question of whether we'll see more oil tankers in NW waters as companies look for other routes to carry oil to China. The national Solyndra controversy raised questions about the certainty of investments in the local renewable energy industry. The wind and hydroelectric industries tried to work out the kinks of how to deal with the times when too much energy gets generated by both sources. And the Japanese tsunami that led to the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis and cleanup has raised quesitons everywhere about the safety of nuclear energy.
Kelso teachers voted to defy a court order that would have sent them back to work today.
A new report into the economic consequences of deepening the Columbia River to from 40 to 43 feet indicates a strong return on investment.