800 people, including someone dressed as Santa handing out coal, turned out for a
meeting in NE Portland last night to discuss a proposal by an Australian firm to export coal to Asia through Oregon.
is seeking permits to ship the coal to Boardman by train, then put it on a barge and send it through Portland to Clatskanie, where it would be loaded onto a ship bound for Asia.
Opponents claim it would damage the environment and public health. Supporters say it means jobs, both during construction and after. The company plans to export close to 9 million tons a year from Montana and Wyoming.
A DEQ official says if it meets requirements, it will be approved, but still needs the federal okay.