Airs Wednesday, June 19 at 10:00 p.m. on OPB-TV
Award-winning filmmakers Katie Campbell and Michael Werner from KCTS 9 in Seattle examine the complex issues surrounding the question of whether or not to build coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest, from a number of perspectives.
The Northwest is in the middle of a controversial global debate: Should the region build export terminals that would open lucrative markets for the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel? As the U.S. economy continues to struggle, can the country afford not to? This documentary explores the future of America’s coal, and takes viewers from the coal mines of Wyoming and Montana to the waters of Washington and Oregon where new facilities are being planned that would turn the Northwest into the largest domestic exporter of coal.
“As I produced this film, it became clear that the issue of coal trains travelling through the Northwest is more than just a regional story. It’s a story with national and international reach,” said Katie Campbell, a multimedia journalist at KCTS 9 who is part of EarthFix, a public media partnership of Pacific Northwest stations focused on reporting stories about environmental issues. “What happens here—in this corner of the country—will have a huge impact on our nation’s energy policy, the country’s economic recovery, and our foreign relations with the fastest growing superpowers in Asia.”
COAL is the result of months of reporting by EarthFix on the Northwest’s coal-export debate. The film will explore the question of whether Northwest coal ports should be built—digging into the potential environmental consequences and meeting people from all sides of the issue who have much at stake.
“We take the audience to some unique places, places most people never get to see firsthand,” Campbell commented. “We went deep inside some of the largest open pit coal mines in the world. We traveled to a mountaintop research station. We boarded massive cargo ships that navigate the narrow waters of the Columbia, which might one day carry coal through the Northwest. In some cases, where we weren’t allowed to photograph in certain places, we opted to fly over them and shoot aerials.”
COAL airs Wednesday, June 19 at 10:00 p.m. on OPB-TV and will also be available for viewing online at the EarthFix site.
COAL is a KCTS 9/EarthFix original documentary. Visit the EarthFix site for more information.
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