No more postponements: Just say no to Oregon coal export

Coal export hasn't been in the media too much lately, but the issue hasn't gone away—the once-mighty coal companies won't go down without a long battle.

In fact, our region still faces three proposals for coal export terminals: the Morrow Pacific Project in Oregon (8.8 million tons per year), Millennium Bulk Logistics (44 million tons per year), and Gateway Pacific Terminal (48 million tons per year). That's a lot of coal and a lot of pollution. And that pollution knows no boundaries in our NW region.

By August 18, the Oregon Department of State Lands will issue a long-awaited permit decision for Oregon's Morrow Pacific proposed rail-to-barge coal export project. It's been postponed eight times.  Enough is enough! It's time to deny the permit.  No more postponements.

Call Governor John Kitzhaber's office and tell him to deny the permit for the Port of Morrow proposal: (503) 378-4582.

As you know, coal companies want to export 8.8 million tons of coal each year out of Oregon, barging it down the scenic Columbia River from the Port of Morrow to Port Westward, near Clatskanie, where it would be loaded onto enormous ships bound for China, India and other countries.

That would mean more than 5,000 barges full of coal moving through our Columbia River Gorge every year, putting our clean water, salmon, recreation and local jobs that depend on a healthy river at risk.

Shipping coal would nearly double the number of barges currently on the river -- heightening the risk of accidents, collisions and spills and competing with other commodities like grain. Coal is toxic. It pollutes our air and water, harms our health, hurts our local economy and worsens the climate crisis.

Call the Governor's office and tell him to stand up to Big Coal: (503) 378-4582.

We can win this fight—and together we are setting a national precedent for standing up to Big Coal!

Author Bio

Joelle Robinson
Joëlle Robinson

Field Director, Climate Solutions

Joëlle engages community members and diverse constituencies—faith, health, youth, parents, business—to make their voices heard for climate solutions. She led the team of organizers to ensure we stopped any coal export from the U.S. West Coast over the past decade. On offense, she co-led the Field team to help pass the 100% Clean Electricity (Clean Energy Transition Act in 2019) and in 2022 collaborated with the Field team to ensure that all new buildings (commercial and residential) will be built with heat pumps per the State Building Code Council. She continues to conspire for good with them on many other local and state initiatives.

Joëlle was the Regional Outreach Coordinator of National Wildlife Federation where she focused on mobilizing hunters, anglers and concerned citizens around solutions to global warming. Previous work with Climate Solutions includes the NW Climate Connections partnership, serving as the Field Assistant for the successful Clean Cars campaign, and Field Director of the Renewable Fuel Standard, which passed in April 2006.

She previously served on the boards of Earth Ministry, Solar Washington, and Sierra Club Executive Committee. She’s currently President of the board of her 3 year-old!

Joëlle is Northwest born and raised who loves to hike, dance, travel and explore the natural world.

Her favorite quote is “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” —  Mary Oliver

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