The federal agency in charge of approving Northwest coal export terminals told a congressional panel Monday it will not be considering the effects of burning coal on the climate.
The Army Corp of Engineers is overseeing the environmental review for the three terminals proposed for Washington and Oregon waterways. Together they could bring 100 million tons of coal to the Asian market from the Powder River basin of Wyoming and Montana.
Jennifer Moyer is Acting Chief of the Regulatory Program for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "The appropriate application of our regulations have lead us to the conclusion that the effects of the burning of the coal in Asia or wherever it may be is too far removed from our action to be considered as an indirect effect or a cumulative effect of our action itself."
The Corps also announced that it will not conduct an area-wide environmental impact assessment. That would take into consideration the cumulative regional impacts of exporting coal through the Pacific Northwest.
Environmental groups, Indian tribes, and the governors of Oregon and Washington have made repeated calls for a comprehensive review of the proposed coal export terminals. They want greenhouse gas emissions to be part of that review.
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