“Coal Crossroads”

“Coal Crossroads” is an one-hour documentary that investigates the controversy surrounding coal exports in Washington.

The Pacific Northwest is poised to become the nation’s leading coal-exporting region, but opponents — worried about health, pollution and snarled train traffic — are putting up a fight.

Asia wants cheap coal, and the mines in Montana and Wyoming have it. To get there, nearly 161 million tons of coal each year would be transported by train across Washington and then shipped from one of five proposed export terminals in Washington and Oregon.

Coal Crossroads” takes a closer look at the push to use Washington’s ports to ship coal — where the projects would go, what impact it could have on jobs, the economy, local neighborhoods and health.

Watch the full-hour long documentary below, or here on YouTube.

In a follow-up episode of “The Impact,” we looked at one of the questions that people wanted to know after watching the documentary: Why don’t the coal companies simply cover the trains?

Here’s a short segment aimed at answering that question:

For more about how the environmental impact study process works, “The Impact” interviewed Gordon White from the state Department of Ecology. Watch that show here:

Links & resources for Washington and Oregon

Coal terminal operators:

Millennium Bulk (Longview, Wash.)

Gateway Pacific Terminal (Cherry Point near Bellingham, Wash.)

Morrow Pacific (Boardman, Ore.)

Other resources:


Power Past Coal

Resources for Sustainable Communities

Citizens For A Working Whatcom County

Communitywise Bellingham

State and county resources:

Dept. of Ecology Environmental Review – Bellingham

Dept. of Ecology Environmental Review – Longview

Whatcom County Planning & Development