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"Coal Train Blues" Coal Exports Through Columbia River Gorge and Pacific Northwest

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Published on Jan 22, 2014

*GO HERE* to subscribe to our Action Alerts and stay informed on how you can help fight these export proposals: http://gorgefriends.nonprofitsoapbox....


http://gorgefriends.org/coalexport
http://www.powerpastcoal.org/
At a time when China and other Asian countries are choking on pollution, Big Coal wants to send them more coal - coal mined in the American West and shipped from proposed terminals in Oregon and Washington. Up to 100 million tons of coal annually would be transported through the Columbia River Gorge, an 85-mile-long river canyon with spectacular scenery, thriving communities, and a unique diversity of plant and animal life. Johnny Cash tribute Counterfeit Cash sings a tune about the absurd, dangerous plans to make the Gorge the coal chute of the United States.

All three proposals for coal terminals in the Pacific Northwest involve transporting coal through the Columbia River Gorge by rail or barge from the open pit mines of the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana to terminals in Oregon and Washington for export to Asia. If coal export plans go forward, U.S. coal exports would double, resulting in 25 loaded coal trains, each more than one mile in length, moving through the Columbia River Gorge every day. Barge traffic on the Columbia River would double.

Coal is transported in open-top cars and each car loses about one pound of coal dust per mile. The resulting toxic coal dust, in addition to diesel emissions from locomotive engines, pose a huge threat to air quality, water quality, plant and wildlife habitat and human health in the Gorge. Coal export does not provide any additional energy to our community and it comes at a terrible cost to our health, environment and public safety.

The good news is that an inspiring grassroots campaign against coal exports has gathered strength over the past two years, uniting citizens, elected officials, business and faith leaders through community groups and a number of organizations, including Friends of the Columbia Gorge, within the POWER PAST COAL coalition. Together, we're raising awareness about these short-sighted, reckless plans, shifting public opinion after a slick, big-money PR campaign by coal companies had set the early agenda, and drawing record numbers of public comments to state regulatory agencies tasked with reviewing the coal terminal proposals.

Coal export opponents go into 2014 with momentum, but Big Coal's not about to stop trying to carry out its big plans. We hope you'll watch, watch again, take some time to learn about the issue and join us in the fight stop the coal trains in their tracks. As "the real fake Johnny Cash" sings in this unique, clever take on the classic "Folsom Prison Blues": "If we don't pull together, we'll always hear the sound of clicking, clacking coal trains, Pacific Northwest bound."

LEARN MORE:
Friends of the Columbia Gorge: "Stop Coal Exports" http://gorgefriends.org/coalexport
Power Past Coal: http://www.powerpastcoal.org/
Sierra Club: "Beyond Coal Washington" http://content.sierraclub.org/coal/wa...
Sierra Club: "Beyond Coal Oregon" http://content.sierraclub.org/coal/or...

Videographer-Editor: Nick Bremer-Korb http://nickbremerkorb.com
Counterfeit Cash https://www.facebook.com/pages/Counte...
Song lyrics by Friends of the Columbia Gorge
Additional video shot by Brendan Gill

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