Oregon coal exports press ahead before Senate panel

Business and Labor leaders to testify in support of shipping terminals and coal exports and a new radio ad featuring the Democratic co-speaker of Oregon House is released touting the benefits of coal export terminals to rural communities
Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports

Touting the job creation and tax revenue benefits of for Oregon communities, business and labor leaders testified in support of new shipping terminals and coal exports before the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee Thursday.

“Each coal export proposal should undergo careful environmental review by professional regulators to ensure compliance with existing laws,” said union leader John Mohlis, with the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council. “But the legislature in a state with unemployment consistently above the national average and that is routinely forced to cut funding for schools shouldn’t put up new road blocks to the hundreds of middle class jobs and millions in tax revenues that coal exports can bring to Oregon.”


“If we don’t build them here, the jobs and taxes will just go someplace else,” Mohlis said.

Coal export supporters also released a radio ad that will begin airing next week featuring State Rep. Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) the Democrat co-speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives supporting coal exports in Oregon. Coos Bay is one of the communities considering expanding its export terminal to handle coal exports.

“While economic recovery may have begun in some areas, the recession has never really ended in Coos Bay and other small towns in Oregon,” says Roblan in the new ad, sponsored by the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports.

“New shipping terminals and coal exports will put people back to work. Businesses and labor unions, Republicans and Democrats, like me, support them,” says Roblan.

The new radio ad joins a joint opinion editorial Roblan published with State Rep. Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) the Republican co-speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, which appeared in Wednesday’s Register-Guard (click here), as well as an editorial from labor leaders in Oregon and Washington that appeared in The Oregonian last week (click here). Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR)  also recently expressed support for Coos Bay coal exports (click here),  saying they could be done safely and would be an “economic boon” for Southern Oregon.

A recent Oregon Public Broadcasting poll (click here) of Northwest residents showed that 55% of those polled support exporting coal through Northwest ports. Of those with an opinion, the support runs 2 to 1.

Disclaimer: Articles featured on Oregon Report are the creation, responsibility and opinion of the authoring individual or organization which is featured at the top of every article.