Seeking a Pacific Northwest Gateway for U.S. Coal
A leading green energy community is now at the center of a push to move U.S. coal to energy-hungry Asian markets.
Plans are under way for a $500 million marine terminal that would make Bellingham a gateway to energy-hungry Asia for the U.S. coal industry. As many as 18 new freight trains per day would run back and forth from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana to carry coal to the new port. The tracks pass just a few hundred yards from the craft and vegetable stands of the Bellingham farmers' market.
At standing-room-only panel discussions and rallies, Bellingham residents—including the mayor of this city of 81,000—are focused on the noise, pollution, and traffic congestion raised by the Gateway Pacific Terminal project. Meanwhile, port operator SSA Marine emphasizes the promise of 1,250 permanent jobs and $200 million annually in