The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing three projects, including one in Oregon at Port of Morrow in Boardman, and two in Washington in Longview and north of Bellingham. No final decisions have been made on related state permits for these terminals, the governors noted in their letter.
Proponents of the projects say they will create jobs and generate millions in tax revenues.
Lauri Hennessey, a spokeswoman for Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports, which includes U.S. coal producers, noted that the U.S. Senate voted last week to oppose new requirements that federal agencies consider greenhouse gas emissions in their analysis under federal environmental law.
"This requirement would be particularly damaging in the Northwest where trade and export are vital to the economy and support good family-wage jobs," she said.Project opponents want regulators to study the broader effects of the projects, including increased train traffic, carbon emissions from burning coal overseas and other health and environmental concerns. "Coal export would harm our air, water, and climate so it makes sense to evaluate the impacts," Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper said in a statement Monday.