Bellingham battles

ALMOST 2000 residents are understood to have turned out for the first of seven public comment hearings on the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point at Bellingham, Washington.

Noel Dyson

The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point is expected to create North America’s largest coal export terminal with a throughput of 48 million tons per annum.

The terminal, being proposed by Pacific International Terminals, is to be located between BP’s Cherry Point refinery and the Alcoa Intalco works aluminum center.

According to media reports, it appears the bulk of the people who attended the hearing at Squalicum High School, Bellingham, were against the terminal.

The Squalicum meeting was the first of several public hearings over the project.

Opponents to the project want regulators to study a range of concerns including increased rail traffic, greenhouse gas emissions, potential health hazards and harm to fisheries.

The Lummi nation has already spoken out against the coal proposal saying it would not sacrifice its heritage and livelihood for the coal sector.

Cherry Point is one of five coal terminals proposed in Washington and Oregon to ship coal from Montana and Wyoming to Asia.

Given the poor results many companies reported in the September quarterlies, coal exports loom as the way forward for the US coal sector.

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