Across the country, citizens are succeeding in shutting down coal plants and holding corporations responsible for the pollution they spew into our air and water. However, coal companies like Peabody and Arch are still looking to make the quickest, dirtiest buck at the expense of our health and climate. With declining demand at home, industry is moving forward with aggressive plans to export taxpayer-owned American coal to countries throughout Asia. The video above unpacks the issue of coal exporting and how it affects all of us.
As much as 157 million tons of coal per year could be hauled from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming, put onto uncovered trains, and carted across Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. From the ports to the plains, citizens are coming together to say “No” to coal exports.
On August 6th activists, including Greenpeace’s own Bethany Cotton, Ryan Rittenhouse, and Mitch Wenkus, departed from Portland, OR, and Seattle, WA, with a single goal: to follow the rail lines from the ports to the minefields and document the communities and ecosystems threatened by coal industry plans.
So far, the Portland “caravan” of activists has traveled through the Columbia River Gorge, stopping in Hood River, OR, one of the many proposed port towns, and Mesa, WA, the site of a recent coal train derailment.
The Portland crew will convene with the Seattle-based caravan before arriving in Helena, Montana for the kick-off of the Coal Export Actions-a week long sit-in at the Montana State Land Board in opposition to the Otter Creek Mine.
Activist have been live tweeting stories and photos from the road. Follow them and retweet their journey! #stopcoalexports or at Stop Coal Exports.
Greenpeace will continue to partner with local communities to shut down plants, advocate for strong laws to curb global warming, expose climate deniers, and kick start an energy revolution by advocating for clean-energy solutions.