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Report on hearing at Boardman regarding Amber Energy barging project -- reporter
Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky | Community Organizer
Columbia Riverkeeper | 1125 SE Madison Suite 103A Portland 97214
503.929.5950 |

The headline from the East Oregonian’s coverage of DEQ’s hearing on their 401 Water Quality Certification said it all: DEQ gets an earful from coal projects opponents. The hearing room was packed with opponents of coal export. The Q&A session (very light on the ‘answers’ part from DEQ) was all coal export opponents and roughly 75% of the actual testimonials voiced opposition.

The bus going to the hearing was packed with over 40 people and we were all kept happy, fed and entertained thanks to Bonnie McKinley (with major support from Jim, Brian and Ryan). We were met with about a dozen folks from Eastern Oregon.

The bus arrived in the middle of a summer storm complete with heavy wind gusts, rain and chances of lightning. This effectively cancelled our plans for a pre-hearing tailgate. The Port of Morrow conference center rented their lobby to Ambre Energy for their BBQ, complete with table centerpieces of coal shaped stress balls with their logo. Perfect for a public hearing! Without a public place for people to gather, we had no other option but to set up our picnic in the public hearing room. It was a lovely sight!

We were honored to be welcomed by Chief Carl Sampson of the Wallulapum Tribe of the Confederated Tribe of the Umatilla and his daughter Cathy Sampson. And very powerful testimony was given by both Chief Sampson, Cathy, her daughter Moriah and the Gary Burke, Umatilla Chair of the Board of Trustees.

The health professionals gave amazing testimony about the impacts of coal export. Many of the health professionals spoke in the first 15 spots. Eastern Oregon residents also testified in opposition, offering many compelling reasons why coal export would harm their region. A member of the ILWU Local 4 was 7th to speak and shared the reality of dust from bulk commodities and the coal industry’s history of union-busting.

Huge thanks to the nearly 50 people who travelled 12 hours to be part of this important public hearing. You made it all possible. DEQ heard us loud and clear: their scope of review is too narrow and unacceptable for Oregon.

Oregon officials take up fight against using public funds to subsidize coal, oil exports
governor john kitzhaber 5 2014  

A coalition of 31 elected officials in Oregon is asking Gov. John Kitzhaber and the Oregon Transportation Commission to reject a plan to award $7 million in ConnectOregon transportation grants to two projects that would facilitate movement of coal and oil along the Columbia River.

Wendy Culverwell
    Staff Reporter-Portland Business Journal

As the Oregon Transportation Commission considers sending $7 million in state funds to support oil and coal export projects, opponents are stepping up pressure to halt the projects.

A coalition of nearly three dozen Oregon officials is asking Gov. John Kitzhaber and the Oregon Transportation Commission to put the kibosh on three ConnectOregon grant applications.

Separately, Power Past Coal is submitting a petition signed by more than 8,000 people to the council in opposition to the grants and two Multnomah County leaders €” Chair Deborah Kafoury and CommissionerJules Bailey €” sent their own letter in opposition.

The transportation commission is considering giving grants to three export projects under the ConnectOregon program, which supports capital projects that promote transportation.

A final decision is due later this month.

If funded, the three grants would consume nearly 17 percent of the ConnectOregon funds allocated this year.

The Aug. 7 letter was signed by Metro Councilors Sam Chase and Bob Stacey, Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle, among others. It asks the governor and commission to deny the grant applications.

One grant would support Ambre Energy's work to establish a dock with a new berth at Port Westward in support of its Morrow Pacific Project, which entails exporting approximately 8.8 million tons of Powder Basin coal to Asia per year via rail and the Columbia River.

Separate grants would improve rail lines to support the transport of oil for export.

The opposition echoes a May 1 letter encouraging the governor to deny a permit Ambre needs for its coal export facility at Port Westward because exporting coal €œis not consistent with the protection, conservation and best use of the state's water resources.€


Content on related items in the news about dirty coal oil and dirty gas which affect Oregon. In the future, the Sierra Club may decide to sponsor local groups in each state, opposing dirty oil and dirty gas, as well as dirty coal. If and when that happens we will move some of the contents of this page to the appropriate areas of this website. In the meantime here are some stories and events that will be of interest to Oregonians.

For more news about Fossil Fuels News that is not quite so tightly connected to the Beyond Coal Campaign, see this page.

General PRESS HITS from Power Past Coal

General PRESS HITS on the Northwest Oil and Coal Terminals

PRESS HITS on the Dec 18, 2013 Close of the Vancouver Oil Terminal Scoping Period for comment:
Columbian: Port of Vancouver oil terminal plan gets 31,000 comments

PRESS HITS on the Oct 29, 2013 Vancouver Oil Terminal Scoping Hearings:
Hundreds Attend First State Hearing On Vancouver Oil Terminal

PRESS HITS on the Oct 28, 2013 on the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate & Energy
Mondag - West Coast Governors Announce Partnership On Climate Change

PRESS HITS on the Oct 9, 2013 Longview Coal Terminal Scoping Hearing held in Vancouver: 
Video of Rally:
Columbian: Coal terminal hearings draw 1,000
KOIN (CBS affiliate): Coal terminal hearings continue
KGW (NBC affiliate): Hundreds at coal terminal hearing in Clark Co.
OPB: Longview Coal Export Project Hearing Draws A Thousand People
Longview Daily News: Opponents use Vancouver coal hearing to push for comprehensive review
AP in the Oregonian: Coal export controversy draws about 1,000 to Vancouver hearing
PRESS HITS on the Oct 3, 2013 Clatskanie/Port Westward Coal Terminal Hearings:
PRESS HITS on the Sept 17, 2013 Longview Coal Terminal Scoping Hearing held in Longview: 
Kwel hoy': We Draw the Line:  Lummi Nation has said 'no' to big coal.
AP (WA)- First hearing on proposed Longview coal terminal
The Daily News (WA)- Let’s keep our coal at home
The Daily News (WA)- Trust issues with Millennium
The Daily News (WA)- Coal dust issues
The Daily News (WA)- Burning coal overseas
PRESS HITS on Sept 11, 2013 about the Grays Harbor Washington Oil Terminal
PRESS HITS on Sept 9, 2013 about the Tacoma Washington Oil Terminal
Platts McGraw Hill Financial (WA)- Targa Sound Terminal cancels plan for Tacoma, Washington, fuel facility!
PRESS HITS on the July 23, 2013 ruling by the Port of Vancouver Washington Oil Terminal Commissioners