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Coal Exports Through the Pacific Northwest

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Coal Exports Through the Pacific Northwest Martin Donohoe Conclusions U.S. needs an energy policy for the 21st century, using clean technologies that provide long ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Coal Exports Through the Pacific Northwest


1
Coal Exports Through the Pacific Northwest
  • Martin Donohoe

2
Plans
  • Powder River Basin coal, cheap, export to China
    and India (to supplement national uses and
    European/Australian exports)
  • Federal land, cheap
  • Americans own most of Powder River Basin (40 of
    Americas coal supply)
  • 2/3 of coal extracted from public lands

3
Coal Economics
  • Cheap
  • Sold for as low as 1/ton (usually
    non-competitively)
  • U.S. price 9/ton sold to China for 80
    -123/ton
  • Uncompetitive leasing and poor oversight have
    cost U.S Treasury 29 billion since 1982

army
4
Coal Economics
  • GAO found BLMs coal lease program does not
    account for the higher price of coal when it is
    exported
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee,
    Interior Department, and looking into royalty
    payment evasion (companies valuing coal at low
    domestic prices, rather than those fetched
    overseas)

5
Plans
  • 100 million tons/yr
  • 26 trains/day
  • 4 diesel engines/train (100-120 cars per train)
  • 12 barges/wk

6
Plans
  • Would dramatically increase U.S. coal export
    capacity
  • 2006 - 50 million tons/yr
  • Current - 127 million tons/yr
  • With proposals - 200 million tons/yr
  • Through Columbia River Gorge (National Scenic
    Area)

7
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9
48 mmt/yr coal
10 mmt/yr coal
15-30 mmt/yr coal
44 mmt/yr coal
8 mmt/yr coal
10 mmt/yr coal
Total 150 mmt/yr coal
10
Health Consequences of Coal Mining
  • Respiratory diseases (including Black Lung
    Disease)
  • Heart disease
  • Cancers
  • Low birth weight
  • Birth defects

11
Health Consequences of Coal Mining
  • Depleted aquifers, decreased land for ranchers
    for grazing, dust pneumonia in cattle and horses
  • Deception

12
DECKER MINE DECKER, MONTANA
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15
Accidents
  • Almost 40 train derailments over last 2 years
  • 250 deaths/yr in U.S. from all rail transport
    accidents
  • Vancouver barge hits coal chute coal ship breaks
    in two off South Africa
  • Mississippi River Barge hit railroad bridge,
    leaking oil

16
Accidents
  • Runaway train disaster in Quebec (2013)
  • West Virginia surfactant spill pollutes river
    (2013)
  • Risk of fires at coal terminals
  • Water intensifies blaze special equipment and
    firefighter training required

17
  • Coal Train derailment near Baltimore, OH

Coal train derailment from coal dust buildup near
Baltimore, Ohio (2012). Photo from Reuters.
18
Mesa, WA Coal Train Derailment(2012)
19
The same trains that would carry coal through the
Pacific NW Wisconsin, 2013
20
Coal-laden ship breaks up off coast of South
Africa (2013)
21
Westshore Coal Terminal in BC (2012)Photo from
CKNW News Talk 980.
22
Fire at Westshore Coal TerminalBritish Columbia,
2013
23
Accidents(Preventable)
  • Sago and Upper Big Branch (West VA) mine
    explosions/cave-ins
  • Elk River (WVa) coal terminal leak/contamination
  • Others

24
Trains
  • Large increase in wear and tear on RR tracks
  • RR limited by federal law from paying more than
    5 costs for improvements in at-grade crossings,
    bridges, tunnels, overpasses
  • Costs will be borne by local municipalities,
    state and federal taxpayers

25
Deception
  • Ambre Energy mislead Port of Longview (5 million
    tons/yr internal documents up to 60 million
    tons/yr re-applied at 45 million tons/yr)
  • Port of Coos Bay admonished by judge for
    attempting to prevent Sierra Club form obtaining
    public records re proposed terminal

26
Deception
  • Lauri Hennessey, spokesperson for the Alliance
    for Northwest Jobs and Exports
  • Calls the group a grassroots effort
  • Has referred to the sacred wetlands of the Lummi
    Nation (Gateway site) as basicallyan industrial
    area

27
Deception
  • Lauri Hennessey, spokesperson for the Alliance
    for Northwest Jobs and Exports
  • Group created and largely funded by coal industry
    and its allies
  • Hennessey Vice-President of Corporate and
    Public Affairs at Edelman (worlds largest PR
    firm, best known for decades of work on behalf of
    Big Tobacco)

28
Health Effects
  • Diesel particulate matter
  • impaired lung development
  • pulmonary inflammation and lung cancer
  • increased risk of heart attacks/strokes/cancer/ast
    hma (ER visits and hospitalizations)

29
Health Effects
  • Diesel particulate matter
  • increases cardiopulmonary and all-cause mortality
  • developmental neurotoxin
  • Perinatal exposure increases risk for autism
    spectrum disorder, ADHD-related symptoms

30
Health Effects
  • Coal Dust
  • Up to 645 lbs. (3) lost per car during transit
  • Surfactant decreases, but does not eliminate, risk

31
Health Effects
  • Coal Dust
  • Chronic bronchitis/emphysema/pulmonary fibrosis
  • Exposure to heavy metals
  • 3-fold increased risk of cancer in coal terminal
    workers in Australia
  • Organic gardeners/farmers

32
Plumes of coal dust can often be seen from
passing coal trains. When standing near the rail
lines, I have often had to avert my face when a
loaded coal train passes to avoid being pelted
with coal particles. William VanHook, Assistant
VP, BNSF
33
Coal Dust Escape645 lbs without surfactant97
lbs with surfactantBNSF Study
34
Health Effects
  • Noise
  • Cardiovascular disease (heart attacks, increased
    BP, arrhythmias)
  • Stroke
  • Cognitive impairment in children
  • Exacerbation of mental health disorders
  • Sleep disturbance (fatigue, HTN, arrhythmias,
    accidents and injuries)

35
Health and Environmental Effects
  • Worst effects on
  • Communities of color, children, older adults, and
    low income citizens
  • Native Americans
  • Tribal fishing sites (Native American fish
    consumption up to 10X U.S. avg. of 14 lbs/yr)
  • Organic gardeners
  • Quality of life for all

36
Frequent, Long Train Crossings
  • Delayed EMS and fire department response times
  • Effect on heart attack/stroke/trauma victims,
    police response to crimes
  • Portland Fire Department response times already
    poor
  • Houseboat fire
  • Increased accidents, traumatic injuries, and
    deaths

37
37
38
Consequences of Burning Coal
  • Increased ground level ozone
  • Mercury and other heavy metals
  • Neurotoxin
  • Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD
  • 300,000-600,000 women of reproductive age with
    toxic levels
  • 18 of Mt Bachelor mercury from Asian power
    plants

39
Consequences of Burning Coal
  • Air pollution
  • 200,000 premature deaths/yr in U.S.
  • 4.1-6.8 million worldwide
  • 2.1 3.3 million (outdoor air pollution)
  • 2-3.5 million (indoor air pollution)
  • Government program promoting coal use in Northern
    China may cut life expectancy of 500 million
    people by average 5 yrs

40
Consequences of Burning Coal
  • Global warming
  • 400,000 deaths and 5.0 - 5.5 million
    disability-adjusted life years lost per year
    (WHO, UN Environment Program)
  • Expected to double by 2030
  • Weather extremes

41
Consequences of Burning Coal
  • Global warming
  • 2013 report from Power Consulting every 140
    million tons of additional Powder River Basin
    coal exported will cause a net rise of 200-240
    million tons of CO2 when burned in Asia

42
True Cost of Coal
  • U.S. 502 billion in fossil fuel subsidies in
    2012
  • Subsidies for polluting energy sources greater
    than 12 times subsidies for renewables (excluding
    military costs)
  • Much internalized as industry profits
  • The public health costs of coal alone are more
    than double the U.S. average retail electricity
    rate
  • When subsidies and externalities taken into
    account, renewables look great

43
Jobs
  • Progressives (who oppose coal exports)
    traditionally support unions, green energy jobs,
    living wage, health insurance for all, etc.
  • Coal exports - Short-term, unhealthy jobs
  • U.S. taxpayers subsidizing Chinese and Indian jobs

44
Jobs and Property Values
  • Effect on local retailers and their often low
    wage employees
  • Seattle study predicts rail crossing congestion
    could cost up to 455,000/yr in lost revenue plus
    an additional 475 million in diminished real
    estate values for commercial residential, and
    industrial properties located within 600 ft of
    the tracks
  • Negative effects on tourism

45
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48
Jobs
  • Jobs program for pulmonologists, special ed
    teachers, and morticians

49
Multnomah County Health Department Analysis
  • 9 of population suffers from asthma.
  • Coal dust may travel 1/3rd to 1 1/4 miles from
    train tracks.
  • Almost 1/3 of population lives in areas that
    either border or cross rail lines that could
    carry coal and already experience a high burden
    of air pollution and noise disturbance from
    industrial sites, roads, and trains

50
Multnomah County Health Department Analysis
  • Communities of color, children, older adults, and
    low income citizens most likely to be affected
  • Cumulative delay of up to two hours per day at
    each rail crossing and delays in emergency
    response times expected
  • Precautionary principle invoked, calls for HIS
    and EIA

51
Public Opposition
  • Have indicated concern or disapproval of coal
    export proposals
  • 600 health professionals
  • 400 local businesses
  • 220 faith leaders

52
Public Opposition
  • Have indicated concern or disapproval of coal
    export proposals
  • Multiple Oregon and Washington municipalities,
    Portland and Seattle mayors, Oregon and
    Washington governors
  • Northwest Tribes (Lummi Nation and Yakama Nation)

53
Public Opposition
  • Over 1,000 people attended Oregon DEQ hearings in
    12/12
  • Impressive state capital rally 3/13
  • Hearing and rally re Port of Morrow Project
    (7/13)
  • Other events gathering huge crowds in OR, WA, and
    BC

54
The Latest
  • 2013 Environmental groups announce intent to sue
    Burlington Santa Fe Railway and several coal
    companies for violations of federal Clean Water
    Act
  • Most coal plants in violation of Clean Water Act

55
The Latest
  • 2013 Army Corps of Engineers (federal permitting
    agency)decides NOT to consider local or global
    health and environmental effects of coal burning
  • Despite having concluded on prior review that
    coal train pollution adversely impacts wetlands

56
The Latest
  • 2014 DEQ approves air quality, water quality,
    and construction storm water permits for Boardman
    terminal, but requires new water quality permit
  • Project also requires permits from Department of
    State Lands and federal Army Corps of Engineers

57
Recent Developments Show Coals Future is Bleak
  • Coal export prices down 40 over summer, 2013
    (80-90/ton)
  • Investors abandoning coal
  • Goldman Sachs Report The window for profitable
    investment in thermal coal is gradually closing
  • Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners owns 49 of
    parent company pursuing Gateway Pacific Terminal

58
Recent Developments Show Coals Future is Bleak
  • Kinder Morgan abandons plan to build coal export
    terminal on Columbia River at St Helens
  • Ambre Energy to renegotiate deal to take over
    Decker Mine in Montana
  • Ambre having financial problems
  • Cloud Peak Energy fails to bid on large deposit
    Kiewit bid (21 cents/ton) rejected by BLM

59
Recent Developments Show Coals Future is Bleak
  • Chinese demand expected to drop with development
    of nuclear and renewables
  • Chinese government states countrys air pollution
    situation is grim and is harming peoples
    health and affecting social harmony and
    stability
  • China bans new coal plant production near
    Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou (summer, 2013)
    and promises to close at least 2,000 small coal
    mines by 2015
  • World Bank and U.S. sharply restricting funding
    of (overseas) coal plants (2013)

60
Desperation
  • Supporters using amoral logic of someone else
    will sell it to them similar to tobacco
    exports

61
The Latest
  • Many new coal terminals planned for Gulf of
    Mexico (if Pacific NW plans do not work out)
  • 60 additional trains per week, could move 700,000
    barrels oil/day (proposed Keystone Pipeline
    830,000 barrels/day)
  • Last Oregon coal plant (Boardman) to close in 2020

62
The Latest
  • Plans to use railways and terminals to transport
    Canadian Tar Sands and North Dakota Bakken Oil
    Field fracked oil through Pacific NW for export
  • Pipelines on wheels
  • 2008 9500 carloads thru Pacific NW 2012 over
    200,000 the future more

63
What You Can Do
  • Join Power Past Coal Coalition
  • Volunteer
  • Call Governor Kitzhaber or his Citizen
    Representative (503) 378-4582
  • Contact DEQ and DSL

64
What You Can Do
  • Continue to demand a full spectrum Environmental
    Impact Statement (EIS) and Health Impact
    Assessment (HIA)
  • Demand a halt to all proposals

65
Conclusions
  • Coal is a dying 19th Century technology with
    Dickensian effects on human health and the
    environment
  • The consequences of coal transport through the
    Pacific Northwest and its subsequent burning in
    Asian power plants is bad for the Northwest, the
    United States, and the world

66
Conclusions
  • U.S. needs an energy policy for the 21st century,
    using clean technologies that provide long-term,
    well-paying, and safe jobs

67
Günter Grass
  • The first job of a citizen is to keep your mouth
    open.

68
African Proverb
  • If you think you are too small to have an
    impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in your
    tent

69
Special Thanks To
  • Regna Merritt, Margie Kircher, Andy Harris, Susan
    Katz, and others at Oregon PSR
  • regna_at_oregonpsr.org
  • Laura Stevens and others, Oregon Sierra
    Club/Beyond Coal Campaign
  • Alan Lockwood, National PSR
  • Thousands of concerned citizens who have
    volunteered their time and energy

70
Resources
  • Power Past Coal http//www.powerpastcoal.org/
  • Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign
    http//content.sierraclub.org/coal/
  • Coals Assault on Human Health (Physicians for
    Social Responsibility) http//www.psr.org/resourc
    es/coals-assault-on-human-health.html

71
Resources
  • Oregon PSR Resources http//www.psr.org/chapters/
    oregon/environmental-health-/proposed-coal-exports
    .html and http//www.psr.org/chapters/oregon/envir
    onmental-health-/

72
Resources
  • Full cost accounting for the life cycle of coal
    (Ann NY Acad Sci 2011121973-98. Available at
    http//solar.gwu.edu/index_files/Resources_files/e
    pstein_full20cost20of20coal.pdf

73
Contact Information
  • Public Health and Social Justice Website
  • http//www.publichealthandsocialjustice.org
  • or
  • http//www.phsj.org
  • Martin Donohoe
  • martindonohoe_at_phsj.org
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