Powder River Basin Coal Fuels Exports to Asia

Coal clash: The Powder River Basin, where coal is king

At the other end of trains carrying coal to proposed NW ports for transshipment to South Korea, China and other Asian power plants, sit the mines of the Powder River Basin.  This Oregonian article provides interesting background on the stakeholders, their positions, and the forces pushing for more coal exports through the West Coast.   The three part Oregonian Special Report begins with this assessment:

The dust up begins in Montana and Wyoming’s Powder River Basin where coal is king, rolls through the Columbia River gorge through congested rail lines in Portland and Vancouver, and ends in Asia’s coal-fueled economies. But the fickle global energy market and highly motivated opponents concerned about the environmental effects could derail the whole plan.

Read more from the three part Special Report with graphics and photos to get some key information about why coal is being pushed for export through NW ports and better understand the broader context of this critical issue for climate change.  Click on links below:

PART 1

The Powder River Basin, where coal is king

The growth of Montana and Wyoming’s jumbo coal mines hangs on the Northwest, with coal companies pursuing space in six ports in Oregon and Washington to export coal to Asia.
PART 2

Potential for more coal trains in the Northwest raises congestion, pollution concerns

Tiny Rainier is on the route to a coal export terminal. The money the exports would generate would be welcome. The community complications, some say, would not.
PART 3

Coming: The risky business of global energy markets haunts Northwest

The outlook for Asian coal demand looks strong now. But history tells us the world energy market can change on a dime.

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