Major Grassroots Victory: Last Coal Export Terminal Goes Down In The Northwest – by Mary Anne Hitt (Huffington Post – September 27, 2017)

Mary Anne Hitt is the Director of the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign.

Grassroots leaders just won a major victory for public health and the climate. The last surviving coal export terminal proposed in the Northwest was denied a permit by the state, spelling the end for the project.

On Tuesday the Washington Department of Ecology denied a necessary water quality permit for the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export facility in Longview, citing the project’s negative impacts on climate, clean air, and water. This renders the project formally dead!

If you needed a reminder that people power can defeat polluters with big money, have I got a story for you. This project was one of six coal export terminals proposed in the Northwest over the past decade, as coal mining companies promised big markets in Asia were hungry for coal mined in Montana and Wyoming.

Over seven years, a massive grassroots movement of over 1 million people, including Tribal Nations and dozens of organizations, opposed and defeated the projects. This was the last one standing. If built, Millennium would have been the largest coal export facility in North America, sending up to 44 million tons of Powder River and Uinta Basin coal per year to Asian markets that are quickly turning away from coal-fired power.

But thousands upon thousands of people across Washington and along the path of those coal trains organized, spoke out at public hearings, called, sent letters, rallied, met with elected officials, and did so much more over the past seven years.

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