This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality says last night's meeting on permits for proposed Ambre coal shipping docks attracted an audience of 800, which is the largest ever attendance at a DEQ meeting. Opponents clearly outnumbered supporters of the coal-to-Asia shipping scheme, based mainly on objections to broadening usage of coal-fired power plants around the world that would inflict more climate damage.  Outside the meeting place, opponents erected a Santa Claus and built a snowman, with signs objecting to coal in our stocking. The local paper, The Oregonian, gave considerable and favorable coverage to this hearing both yesterday and today, including an almost-accurate summary of complex air quality issues.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

The Sierra Club and its attorney are key actors in the attack on the proposed air quality permits for the coal docks. Ambre proposes to bring in Powder River Basin coal, coated with a dust-reducing agent, from the Wyoming area on train, to Morrow on the Columbia River 200 miles east on Portland.  There, the coal would be loaded into sealed barges, which would get towed 150 miles down the Columbia to Port Westward, where it would be re-loaded onto ocean-going freighters, and initially burnt in South Korean power plants.

Because Ambre will coat the coal for the train ride, ship the coal in sealed barges, and will do all of its coal transfers and  loading and unloading indoors, there will in fact be few coal dust emissions, only a few hundred pounds a year.

But the Sierra Club hired wily scientists who calculated the diesel stack emissions from the train traffic to Morrow, the barge tug emissions while sailing down the Columbia, and the ship emissions to haul the coal from Port Westward out of Oregon waters.  Those transportation-related emissions totaled several hundred tons a year, and the Sierra Club's math revealed that would create several "hot spots" of unhealthy concentrations of diesel-related emissions,  near the coal transfer points.

The flabbergasted DEQ has objected that legally they are allowed to ignore pollution from "mobile" sources such as trucks, trains, and ships.  But the Sierra Club's evidence that Ambre's mobile source emissions will cause violations of Oregon's legal standards for air pollution, at the least, puts DEQ on shaky ground.

Climate change and impacts from coal burning in Asia are well outside DEQ's authority to review.

I'm not the best person to write this diary. I only went to the meeting long enough to get a free coal company hat. I did consult a little with the Sierra Club scientists.  I hate coal.

But I privately support this project, although doubts cloud my emotions. I certainly didn't speak in favor of the coal exports. But I have too many unemployed construction worker buddies right now to ignore the hundreds of union construction jobs required to build the terminals, and to fabricate the barges to carry the coal.

10:05 PM PT: This coal may come from the Decker Mine in Montana, subject of a bitter strike several years ago.  The strike was memorialized in a Kos Diary on Feb. 26, 2006 by writerscramp, whose father was one of the strikers.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to RedwoodMan on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:19 PM PST.

Also republished by Koscadia, PDX Metro, Daily Kos Oregon, and Community Spotlight.

Your Email has been sent.