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Preventing Coal Exports

A CSX coal train travels through Evansville, IN. Coal trains generate huge volumes of toxic dust as they travel from the country's interior, disrupting and polluting communities.

A CSX coal train travels through Evansville, IN. Coal trains generate huge volumes of toxic dust as they travel from the country's interior, disrupting and polluting communities.

Photo courtesy of Alan Bering

Earthjustice is going after coal at every stage of its life cycle to clear the way for clean energy.

Coal use in the United States is on the decline—a promising sign. But coal companies are looking to expand opportunities to ship domestic coal reserves overseas to China and other fossil-fueled nations. Allowing this outcome would do nothing to slow climate disruption and would also endanger the health of communities that live along the transportation routes by which train cars piled high with coal would pass day after day, polluting the local air.

In 2012, the Export-Import Bank of the United States approved $90 million in financing, putting taxpayer money on the line, to support a billion dollars in sales of coal exports—contributing to increased mining, coal train traffic, and port activity.

Earthjustice is preventing coal exports by:

  1. Challenging federal financing of coal exports from East Coast ports. The federal government approved this financial support for coal exports without considering the increased toxic air and water pollution that could affect communities near the mines and ports, and along the railways that connect them.
  2. Challenging the construction of coal export facilities in the Pacific Northwest. We’re currently requesting a full environmental and health review of all proposed coal export terminals in Oregon and Washington. The array of air, water, safety, health, biodiversity, and other impacts on local communities and ecosystems—which face a chain reaction of increased mining, rail traffic, and port activity—remains woefully unaddressed by state and federal regulators.