Coal Export

Coal Mines Damage Ranch Land: For decades, ranchers in eastern Montana have made a living off the land, benefiting local economies.  Now, coal mining threatens to permanently degrade valuable ranchland, while polluting and depleting community water supplies.  In eastern Montana’s dry environment, vegetation takes an unusually long time to recover from mining.  Meanwhile, removal of coal from the ground robs the earth of a natural water filtration system.  With reduced natural vegetation for livestock to graze, and less clean water for farming, agriculture in Montana becomes more difficult as coal mining expands.  Learn more about the impacts of coal mining on ranch land

Coal Trains Pollute Communities: From the mines, Montana coal is loaded into trains for transport.  Most of these trains now service existing US coal plants—but if coal companies get their way, the number of trains will increase dramatically to feed export markets.  Coal trains passing through cities like Billings, Bozeman, Missoula, and other cities are already a source of coal dust pollution and toxic diesel fumes.  Now coal export proposals threaten to compound the existing problem, subjecting working-class rail line communities to further pollution.  See how coal trains impact rail line communities in Missoula

Coal Terminals Threaten the West Coast: To increase coal exports, energy giants hope to build a chain of coal export terminals on the West Coast.  Building coal ports would involve dredging waterways or filling in wetlands, damaging sensitive ecosystems.  Dust from piles of coal waiting for export would pollute nearby communities, while making the area less attractive to other business.  Port towns like Bellingham and Longview in Washington, and St Helens and Coos Bay in Oregon, are already fighting to protect their communities from coal export terminals.  Learn how students and West Coast communities are partnering to stop coal ports

Coal Slows the Global Shift to Clean Energy: From the West Coast, coal companies hope to ship their product to energy companies in China, India, and other growing economies.  There, rural villages are fighting construction of some of the biggest new coal plants in the world—projects that threaten air and water quality, and traditional ways of life in these countries.  By fueling these damaging plants, coal exports threatens to exacerbate global environmental injustice, while delaying the transition to clean energy throughout the world.  Learn about one Chinese community’s resistance to dirty coal projects

Coal Causes Climate Change: Carbon emissions from smokestacks fueled by US coal exports would contribute to climate change, making catastrophic global warming all but inevitable.  By keeping the international cost of coal artificially cheap, coal exports would keep developing countries dependent on dirty fuel for decades to come.  The consequences would be disastrous: studies show the carbon footprint of coal export projects would be worse than that of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  See what exporting coal means for the climate

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