Target: Mary Abrams, Oregon Department of State Lands director
Goal: Applaud decision to deny the permit for a proposed coal export terminal over concerns about its environmental impact
In a major win for Oregon families and concerned citizens everywhere, officials have denied Ambre Energy a vital permit for its proposed coal export terminal. The Australian-based company’s massive project would have been a transfer point for more than 8.8 million tons of coal bound for Asia every year, according to The Oregonian. After a long and active public comment period the Oregon Department of State Lands denied Ambre’s permit, stating in a press release that the project “is not consistent with the protection, conservation and best use of the state’s water resources.”
If approved the terminal would have been used to transfer trainloads of coal from Montana and Wyoming onto boats headed down the Columbia River. Yet more ships would later transport the precious cargo overseas. Governor John Kitzhaber announced his rejection of the proposed terminal; an earlier petition on ForceChange urged permitting officials to do the same. Area tribes protested the impact such an operation would have on fisheries, and state officials agreed: the environmental costs of the proposed project were simply too high.
While some permits had already been granted by other agencies, the Department of State Lands showed true leadership by refusing to play along. Applaud the agency for standing up to Ambre Energy, and for protecting state of Oregon, its residents and the global climate against high-polluting coal.
Dear Ms. Abrams,
On behalf of all the tribal communities, environmentalists, scientists and others who shared their opposition to Ambre Energy’s proposed coal export terminal with your agency: thank you.
This project would have funneled millions of tons of coal out of the United States every year. Coal, through its mining and export, would pollute communities in Montana and Wyoming and all along its rail route without even producing energy for America. It would have damaged or destroyed native tribes’ traditional fishing grounds. In short the environmental, social and cultural costs of the project were too high to justify its approval. Fortunately, your agency agreed.
Too often regulators cave to the false promises of the fossil fuel industry rather than actually performing their duties. Thank you for helping preserve Oregon’s natural areas for now and future generations. Please, work with your agency to maintain this strong commitment in the face of likely appeals by Ambre Energy.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Arnoldius via Wikimedia Commons