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Wednesday at 10 p.m. A look at the complex issues surrounding the question of whether or not to build coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest. Photo: Katie Campbell
The company that wants to build a natural gas export terminal and pipeline in Coos Bay got a big setback this week. Federal regulators ruled they'll have to start over with the process for permitting the pipeline. Meanwhile, the Port of Coos Bay has been working on a different energy project: exporting coal from the area. The names of the coal companies had not been made public, but Earthfix reporters have now discovered at least two of the companies involved. We'll find out the latest developments in both the LNG and coal export efforts with OPB Earthfix reporter Amelia Templeton.
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.
The EarthFix team has been looking into the many ways that proposed coal terminals would affect the lives and livelihoods of people in the Northwest. Reporter Bonnie Stewart's latest investigative piece focuses on what it would take for Northwest railways to be ready to accommodate new trains carrying coal to the proposed terminals.
Republican Dennis Richardson is challenging Democratic Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber in the November election.