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Coal terminal plans shelved

One of six Northwest projects nixed


One of the six coal-export terminals proposed in the Northwest has bit the dust.

RailAmerica, the Florida-based rail line company, dropped its bid for a coal terminal in the port of Grays Harbor, Wash.

Company spokesman Paul Queary told The Daily World newspaper of Aberdeen, Wash., that RailAmerica was “shelving” the project because there’s a “third party that has an interest in shipping something else from the terminal and thinks that would come to fruition more swiftly than the coal terminal.”

Environmentalists and many community leaders are hotly opposed to the spate of coal-export facilities, citing concerns about climate change, health and other environmental impacts.

As new regulations and low natural gas prices crimp the prospects for coal sales in the U.S., companies are scurrying to sell domestic coal to China, India and other Asian countries.

Six different coal-export facilities have been proposed in Boardman, Clatskanie and Coos Bay, Oregon, and Bellingham, Longview and Grays Harbor, Wash.

Another of the six proposals, Kinder Morgan’s proposed coal export terminal at Port Westward near Clatskanie, Ore., also hit a road block recently when PGE declined to lease port property for the terminal. PGE cited concerns about coal dust and traffic congestion near the the Portland utility’s natural-gas-fired plant in Port Westward. Kinder Morgan has vowed to find another site in the vicinity.