LONGVIEW, Wash -- A local coal export terminal proposal brought protesters and the governor of Wyoming to Longview Tuesday afternoon.
Governor Matt Mead toured the old Reynolds Aluminum plant in Longview, the site where a proposed $600 million coal export terminal would be built.
I view it as coal that is very high quality coal, said Mead. It is lower-sulfur coal, lower-mercury coal.
The coal would be brought in by rail from Wyoming and then shipped to Asia. The terminal would handle 44 million tons a year.
You can ship no coal from here and you could ship no coal from Wyoming and the U.S. and it s still going to be the fastest growing energy source. So where would you rather have it from? My answer is Wyoming, Mead said.
Mike Bridges is a father of two. He thinks the hundreds of jobs the terminal would bring would be a much needed boost to Longview s struggling economy.
This town, it s been hurting for a long time, Bridges said. We have probably one of the [highest] employment rates in Washington and we need something to come in.
But others worry about the air quality and the environmental impacts transported coal dust could have on the area.
We have prevailing winds that come at six every evening and it blows in this whole area. That coal dust is going to blow into the Columbia River, said Longview resident Linda Cully.
Linda Patton is also fighting the proposed terminal.
Those who think they have something to gain from this really should take into account how much there is to lose, she said. We have a whole planet to lose.
The proposed terminal is currently under environmental review.