The Army Corps of Engineers today said it would not conduct an areawide or cumulative review of various coal export terminal proposals in Oregon and Washington state.
In a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Energy and Power Subcommittee, corps acting regulatory chief Jennifer Moyer also said her agency would not weigh the climate change impacts of burning more American coal overseas.
"The corps has determined that neither a programmatic nor an areawide regional [environmental impact study] are appropriate when considering the proposed permits in light of these [National Environmental Policy Act] regulations," Moyer said in her testimony.
Environmental groups and other critics of increased coal exports, plus elected officials like the governors of Oregon and Washington, have called for a cumulative review, including the potential impacts of more coal use, mining and rail traffic (Greenwire, March 22).
But Moyer said "many of the activities of concern to the public, such as rail traffic, coal mining, shipping coal outside of U.S. territory and the ultimate burning of coal overseas, are outside the corps' control and responsibility for the permit applications related to the proposed projects."
Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) called the corps statement "the right decision." He said such a cumulative review that includes global climate change would have the United States regulating energy decisions abroad.
But full E...