What's at Stake
Earthjustice is representing groups trying to protect Coos Bay, Oregon, from a massive dredging project designed to allow larger ships access to potential fossil fuel export terminals. The case is before the Oregon State Court of Appeals.
A coalition of local residents, grassroots environmental and clean-energy activists, represented by Earthjustice, have asked the Oregon Court of Appeals to put the brakes on an Oregon Department of State Lands’ dredging permit that paves the way for the Port of Coos Bay to export dangerous liquefied natural gas (LNG) or coal and other bulk commodities to Asia.
In January 2012, coalition members asked for reconsideration of the state’s initial decision to issue the dredging permit. The permit authorizes the single largest dredging project in an estuary that the state has ever approved. Additional infrastructure for the new terminal, for pipelines, and possibly for rail will be needed as well. The coalition raised the Port’s failure to conduct an environmental assessment of the whole project—the dredging of the channel for a large, new marine terminal and LNG pipeline—as a reason re-examine the permit. The entire project will increase marine traffic of immense ocean-going vessels, loaded with LNG or other commodities that could interfere with recreational boating and fishing in the region. That state artificially segmented the dredging from the rest of the project and refused to considered the overall impacts of the huge new terminal and the potential impacts of shipping fossil fuels from the terminal.
Listening to your doctor’s orders is usually a good idea. If your doctor prescribes you a medication and tells you to attend physical therapy, then you take the medication and you go to physical therapy. Now, imagine if 130 doctors all told you to do the same thing. You’d probably follow their orders, right?
A new battle has emerged in the fight over proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest.