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Portland Joins Other Cities Questioning Coal Trains

Sept. 19, 2012 6:21 a.m.

The city of Portland has no power to restrict coal exports moving along railroad lines. The rail companies have their own right-of-way. But if Portland passes a proposed resolution, it would join the ranks of at least 20 local governments that have passed similar resolutions.

State of Wonder

Tsunamis, Demolitions And Dog Poop: Vanessa Renwick Takes It To The Next Level

June 3, 2016 5:30 p.m.

Visual artist Vanessa Renwick has created a new installation that speaks to the “hodgepodge of horrible” we meet in modern life — a multi-screen installation featuring everything from tsunamis to coal train fires, neighborhood demolitions to cats killing songbirds — the things that leave you unable to do anything but shake your head. The work also deftly addresses how we reel ourselves back from that edge. We can’t actually say the full title of Renwick’s installation at Portland Art Museum’s APEX Gallery (“Next-Level F—ed Up”) on air, but we can tell you how affecting and oddly poignant it is. Here’s a bit of our conversation. Read the full story:

New Research Provides Evidence Of Coal Dust Escaping From Trains

Nov. 5, 2013 2:41 p.m.

A University of Washington scientist tracked the dust from 450 trains, including about 10 percent carrying coal.

Coal Dust's Environmental Impacts

March 12, 2013 2:11 p.m.

If trains and barges transport coal from Montana and Wyoming to proposed export terminals in the Northwest, what will the impact of the coal dust be?

Voices Of Coal: The Rail Town Mayor

March 8, 2013 2:35 p.m.

Camas Mayor Scott Higgins says he's not taking a position on coal export plans that rely on trains hauling the material through his town of Camas, Wash. on the Columbia River.

Voices Of Coal: The Business Owners

March 7, 2013 2:28 p.m.

Tonya and Richard Burkholder aren’t worried that transporting coal will harm the environment. And they don’t think trains will keep tourists away from the dunes, or their business.

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Other Results

Think Out Loud

News Roundtable

Sept. 21, 2012 7:06 p.m.

It's Friday, and so it's time for another "News Roundtable." We'll look back at the news of the week with a panel of journalists, editors, and news watchers. We'll look at some of the stories that we didn't cover, and push forward some of the stories we already dug into. This week we're looking at:

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First Of Its Kind Coal Dust Study Underway In The Northwest

Sept. 17, 2014 7:45 p.m.

EarthFix reporter Ashley Ahearn reports on a coal dust study scientists have begun in the Northwest to determine what affect coal by rail might have on the environment.

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Environmental Update

April 11, 2012 4:06 p.m.

Six different coal terminals are being proposed in the Pacific Northwest, from north of Bellingham to Grays Harbor to Coos Bay. The companies proposing the terminals hope to capitalize on the ever-increasing energy demands of China and India. Establishing terminals on the West Coast would potentially help expedite the process of getting coal that's mined in Montana and Wyoming into Asian markets. The terminals could mean a million dollar increase in revenue for a city like Hoquiam, WA, which is equivalent to one-third of that struggling city's operating budget. But the terminals also come with environmental and public health costs. EarthFix reporter Ashley Ahearn has been traveling around the Northwest visiting towns that could be future coal terminal sites. She's gathered the responses from community members, businesses and researchers.

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Environmental Update On Oil Trains, Coal & More

May 20, 2014 7:15 p.m.

We'll round-up some of the region's major environmental stories from the EarthFix team.

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Coal Would Bring More Rail Traffic To Northwest

April 5, 2013 7:45 p.m.

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.

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Environmental Update

July 10, 2013 7:30 p.m.

The oil train wreck that caused death and destruction in a small Canadian town has aroused new concern regarding oil transport throughout the Pacific Northwest. On Tuesday, this concern halted the decision of Port of Vancouver's vote on lease approval of a proposed crude oil terminal. Tuesday was also the day that hundreds of people showed up to hearings for the Morrow Pacific Project, a proposal to transport about 9 million tons of coal per year through the Pacific Northwest.

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The Legislature's Racial Equity Report Card

Jan. 16, 2012 5:06 p.m.

A coalition of Oregon community groups has created a report card that grades the Oregon legislature on its efforts to address racial inequity. It's issuing the report on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2012. In a legislature that includes only three people of color, how did the bills passed in 2011 affect communities of color? The report congratulates the legislature for passing several laws it says will improve racial equity, such as HB 2707, which lets youths charged with Measure 11 crimes be held in juvenile prison, rather than in the adult criminal justice system.  But the report also highlights several bills that it says will increase institutional racism. The report says legislation that allows campus safety departments to turn into police departments could mean more drastic consequences if campus security racially profiles students — as any punishment would then be part of a student's criminal record. The racial equity report card also highlights a law that could make it easier to fast track industrial development projects in industrially zoned areas — which the report points out are more densely populated by people of color.

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President Obama Outlines Military Action Against ISIS

Sept. 11, 2014 7:20 p.m.

We'll discuss President Obama's prime time speech outlining possible military action against ISIS.

Think Out Loud

New EarthFix Poll Shows Oregonians' Views on the Environment and Guns

July 7, 2014 7:30 p.m.

We'll hear from EarthFix editor Dave Steves and John Horvick of DHM Research about the new environmental poll commissioned by EarthFix.

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New Recreation Trail Would Go From Valley To Coast

June 26, 2014 7:25 p.m.

The planned Salmonberry Corridor would trace 86 miles from Banks to Tillamook, often following railroad lines.

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