DeFazio backs coal for Coos Bay

Claims blocking exports to South Korea is illegal
2012-08-16T11:00:00Z DeFazio backs coal for Coos BayBy Daniel Simmons-Ritchie, The World Coos Bay World
August 16, 2012 11:00 am  • 

COOS BAY -- In what could be a blow to environmentalists, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio says he has few qualms with a proposal to build a coal export terminal in Coos Bay.

In a town hall meeting on Wednesday attended by 130 people, Oregon's 4th District Democrat waded into a debate that has divided the Port of Coos Bay from the Eugene City Council.

In July, the council raised concerns that coal trains en route from Wyoming to Coos Bay would spread dust that would harm Eugene residents and food production.

The council added that exporting coal fanned the flames of global warming.

Ill-reasoned, illegal

But DeFazio said protests against the plan ignore reality.

In regard to coal emissions, he said it implausible to assume that South Korea, the presumptive coal importer, will not buy coal from a different country if it can't get it from the United States.

'You're not going to facilitate closing down coal plants by prohibiting the sale of U.S. coal," he told The World in interviews.

Secondly, due to certain free trade agreements, DeFazio says it is illegal for the U.S. to stop the export of coal to Korea.

DeFazio separates that argument from concerns about coal dust. He says using enclosed coal cars on the rail route could guarantee that no dust escapes.

Opponent agrees

However, enclosed cars come at a steeper price, and there are legal problems with charging an importer for those extra expenses. DeFazio says he is discussing ways that problem could be solved.

DeFazio's stance is rare ground for agreement between himself and his Republican opponent in November's election.

While Art Robinson says he has not been following the coal-export proposal closely, he has not heard any convincing argument for it to be prohibited.

Copyright 2015 Coos Bay World. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(30) Comments

  1. The Real Common Sense
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    The Real Common Sense - August 29, 2012 9:54 pm
    Ok Kay, you are a pro at posting nonsense and negativity. What is your plan? What would you do to improve business in the area? Continue to hold up your no LNG signs? Complain about the port? Continue to shout how miserable it is? What will you do?
  2. hablarclaro
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    hablarclaro - August 29, 2012 11:42 am

    Dang, Kay, if you aren't one big hoot!

    But then to go on and spoil it with your angry and negative self.

    Yes, it's been a cool summer, but there is some sunshine now and then, so get
    out and enjoy life.
  3. Roberts Mama
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    Roberts Mama - August 26, 2012 9:17 pm
    She's right ya know. I grew up listening to my elders talk about all the money this county has and how it's being spent on everything but what we truly needed. Now I'm still listening and it's still the same coming from MY generation.When is the county going to start listening to what we really need and act accordingly to bring whats needed and stop with all the hair brained ideas?
  4. Roberts Mama
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    Roberts Mama - August 26, 2012 9:04 pm
    I couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you
  5. deception
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    deception - August 26, 2012 7:53 pm
    You always talk about facts, so lets see some. Please, double check what a fact is before responding.

    FYI: The FACT of the matter is that there is only one surefire way to build an economy, and it's called industry,
  6. Kay
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    Kay - August 24, 2012 11:20 am
    It's called REALITY hablalalala, read the facts and you too can discuss the issue factually.
    This county is awash in money, has been for forty years, for the Port, while the rest of this county slides further and further into third world status.
    These Job Messiahs, been promising jobs for decades, they failed, even with hundreds of millions of wasted tax dollars. Always another project, always another hundred million of our dollars, and THEN they will bring jobs.

    How long you gonna believe lies
  7. hablarclaro
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    hablarclaro - August 23, 2012 3:38 pm
    According to GaGa, "but all the airports, etc. etc. haven't brough us good jobs" so I guess what that means is the heck with anything else, because to him/her nothing works. Great outlook on life, huh?
  8. River Rat
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    River Rat - August 23, 2012 2:28 pm
    I'm sure Bob Ferris is disappointed. Hopefully he will take his ball and go home.
  9. GaGa
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    GaGa - August 22, 2012 6:55 pm
    I think we all need to get better informed re: coal dust etc. I know atleast one local who grew up in a Coal mining area.His story is that it killed their water/land/fish etc.not to mention the "black lung". Come on, Obama & DeFazio.THERE IS NO THING AS CLEAN COAL! I'm disappointed and upset.. Yes, we need new revenue but all the airports, etc. etc. haven't brough us good jobs. Coal is the last stsraw folks. We are considered expendable here apparently.Thanks to the Eugene Council for caring.
  10. msallen
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    msallen - August 21, 2012 3:34 pm
    Oh please, he won by over 10% in a terrible year for Democrats. Art will lose by an even greater margin this year as the people of Southwestern Oregon know more about his radical wingnut agenda, his paranoid and antisocial mentality and his failed attempt to plant his son as a fake "Democrat" to undermine our democratic primary process. Good riddance....
  11. hablarclaro
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    hablarclaro - August 20, 2012 12:54 pm
    Just because you say it, Carl, does not make it true. A bit of research on the two subjects would be an eye-opener for you and those living under those delusions.
  12. Justice for All
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    Justice for All - August 20, 2012 9:32 am
    Come on Duke, do you even know anything about Art Robinson?

    The man wrote for years about putting radioactive waste in our drinking water, foundations and oceans. He wrote and spoke about abolishing public schools. Then after DeFazio used these statements against him in 2010, he wrote a book where he adopted new, more "electable" positions.

    Robinson is financially backed by a billionaire hedge fund manager from Wall Street, but denies knowing anyone on Wall Street.

    Art Robinson honest? Nope.
  13. Teri
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    Teri - August 18, 2012 5:25 pm
    This is one of the reasons I always vote for DeFazio. While I am far from being a democrat, I find him to be one of the most level headed and stand up politicians of any out there! Way to go, DeFazio!
  14. Eastsider
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    Eastsider - August 18, 2012 12:33 pm
    Bes, I agree with your position, but if you'd have been paying attention, a company that wants to put in an offshore wind turbine farm wants to share the docking facilities the coal exporting used. Not like the clean energy change-over is going to be complete for many years to come. In the meantime, our coal burns a lot cleaner than their coal. Speaking of self-reliant, nothing is stopping you from putting solar panels on your roof. There are already businesses in the area to assist you.
  15. m00npenny
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    m00npenny - August 18, 2012 8:25 am
    In the last election, DeFazio hung on by a thread. This time around may actually end his "career" as Congressman. Time for a change. Global warming again? Do environmentalists bother to keep up with current information or do they just pick something that justifies their bullying of others? Im done with the environmental "drama", put the coal on the train and send it west!
  16. Husky
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    Husky - August 18, 2012 7:08 am
    Glad to see that someone in Washington DC has a brain and isn't easily influenced by the alarmist environmental Wackos. We need more jobs, jobs, jobs with the Obama-Kitzhaber unemployment rate at 8.2% nationally and 8.5% in Ore-Be-Gone.
  17. 5quarter
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    5quarter - August 18, 2012 3:51 am
    ive found the cure for hope ...obama/denazio 2012
  18. Carl
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    Carl - August 17, 2012 5:40 pm
    I think someones brainwashing is still all wet. Obama has pushed both clean coal and more drilling for oil. We need to push bio-char or wood charcoal that can be used to replace coal in power plants. Make it here, use it here, and keep the money here!
  19. Duke
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    Duke - August 17, 2012 5:12 pm
    This just demonstrates that De Fazio will say anything to get elected, De Fazio has voted against every bill to start a coal industry to serve the enviromental base. Just check the record, De Faxio is consistently anti-business, has voted for every bill to increase taxes and add regulation to small business.
    This type of hypocritical and outright lieing to citzens of Oregon must stop on November 6th, Art Robinson understands the issues and is an honest man.
  20. Ahamshad
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    Ahamshad - August 17, 2012 5:09 pm
    10 dollars says he backs out like he did with the health care plan... And thank you to The World for covering it. I haven't seen it yet picked up by the Eugene news... Must not fit their agenda.
  21. hablarclaro
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    hablarclaro - August 17, 2012 3:32 pm
    FYI, bes, before you start "shouting" at everyone perhaps you should be aware that most, if not all of us, are not hard of hearing. Or, is that the only way you know how to attempt making a point, an ill-informed point at that.
    Oh my, those nasty and toxic corporations!
  22. RoccoStBruno
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    RoccoStBruno - August 17, 2012 9:08 am
    Way to go DeFazio, Finally someone is doing something positive for the economy.
  23. Citizen
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    Citizen - August 16, 2012 10:43 pm
    DeFazio needs to go. He does this type of thing whenever he wants to get re-elected. I want the coal shipments to go through. He sign off on this to get votes and then go back to walking the party line. There needs to be more integrity in our elected officials. This one has none.
  24. bes
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    bes - August 16, 2012 6:08 pm
  25. rodman
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    rodman - August 16, 2012 4:49 pm
    The people in Eugene are fretting over nothing. I lived in Co, and Utah where coal trains are a part of life. I have never ever had problems with coal dust, ever. Whats next, complaining about Volcanic eruptions?
  26. Bulldog_79
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    Bulldog_79 - August 16, 2012 4:08 pm
    A surfactant is sprayed on the top of the coal after the cars are loaded. This prevents the non-existent dust problem. This coal dust is just another red herring brought to you by the reds in the green movement.
  27. hablarclaro
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    hablarclaro - August 16, 2012 3:22 pm
    In that Obama has worked so hard to dismantle the coal industry, I'm sure DeFazio will be called to the carpet.

    Nonetheless, Good Move, Peter!
  28. DHCollins
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    DHCollins - August 16, 2012 1:13 pm
    I think the fear of coal dust is overblown. Where I grew up, our veggie gardens turned out just fine. And there was never any coal residue on the windshield that I can ever remember seeing. If Eugene is worried about dirty air, they should address all the cars and trucks that burn fossil fuel and people who burn garbage in their woodstoves before they say anything to us. Our air is cleaner than their's. Cleaning the coal before shipment will keep it that way. x
  29. MarkM
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    MarkM - August 16, 2012 12:02 pm
    Robinson exhibits an alarming lack of curiosity over this key issue. As usual, Congressman DeFazio explains the nuance and complexity that escapes the notice of a casual observer. The positions of the two of them may be similar, but the way each arrives at it couldn't be more different.
  30. Eastsider
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    Eastsider - August 16, 2012 11:21 am
    Good for DeFazio and good for Coos Bay.
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