Record-Breaking Opposition to Coal

By Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, Senior Organizer

Two hundred sixty two thousand eight hundred and seventy six. What’s that number mean? The number of jelly beans it takes to fill a shipping container? The number of steps you take each year?  Nope.

262,876 is the Power Past Coal record-breaking number of comments submitting by people who oppose the coal export in Longview, Washington. The comments were delivered by email, snail mail and by hand to Washington’s Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County in response to the draft Environmental Impact Statement published by the agencies. Their comments reinforced what nearly two thousand people said in opposition to dirty coal trains coming through their communities at three public meeting across the state in May and June.

The comment period for coal export is over, and for some, this means that the fun is just beginning. You can now read the comments submitted by climate change experts, rail experts, tribal partners, state agencies, the Power Past Coal Coalition and more. We’ve highlighted a few of the comments we think are really impressive on our website here and we’ve summarized the 73 pages of Power Past Coal’s comment on the draft EIS. You can read them on our website here. Visit the official Millennium Bulk Terminals project website for the full list of 273,876 comments (I recommend a CTRL F search to narrow your search).

If you missed the hearing, or want to re-visit the scene of an inspiring and powerful day, our coalition partners at Greenpeace captured it in film. Watch it here:


Inspiring video of the Millennium Bulk Terminal coal export hearing in Longview, Washington on May 24, 2016 captured by our coalition partners at Greenpeace.

273,876 comments collected in opposition to coal export is not the end of this project. There’s more ahead for what would be the largest coal export terminal in North America. Later this year, the Army Corps of Engineers will release their draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and we’ll have another important public comment period and hearings to participate in. The next step after the draft EIS for the Army Corps and the Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County (who joined forces for their draft EIS) is the release of their respective final EIS documents.

Now isn’t the time to sit back and relax. We will continue to work with folks in Cowlitz County and throughout the Pacific Northwest to ensure that our communities, our river and our climate are protected from coal export.