The folks in Montana think the US Army Corps of Engineers will announce this week the denial of a permit for the mega coal port at Cherry Point. The Helena Independent Record newspaper has a story today stating the coal port “... appears headed for denial this week…”. This is according to their local U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke.
You can read the story here.
Zinke has fired off a letter on Tuesday to the Defense Department, charging the Army colonel in charge of permitting with illegal actions and not following protocol. The letter has a panic tone through all three paragraphs. A link to a pdf of his letter is just below this article.
This is all we have this evening. Freelance journalist Stephan Michaels of Bellingham (who wrote about GPT in the Seattle Times) stumbled upon this Independent Record article this evening and forwarded to me late this evening. And I share with you, gentle readers.
Amazing if true. With the coal industry and exports tanking - and probably tanking for all time - this coal port was becoming a dead end project. One of the original 2011 proponents, Peabody Energy, one of the largest coal companies at that time, is expected to file for bankruptcy within weeks. It was worth over $10 billion in 2011 and is barely worth $50 million today, a drop of over 99% in value. They are no longer involved with GPT.
Update - Wed 4:30 pm
Samantha Wohlfeil has obviously spent much of today tracking down this story and the Herald now has it online. Good coverage. It appears that the Army Corps of Engineers is modifying or reversing itself on an earlier statement to the Montana U.S. Rep. Zinke that it would issue a decision this week. In her article, Sam notes the Corp spokesperson says it may not even issue a decision this month.
Perhaps the Defense Department put pressure on the Seattle Corps office to hold off. Afer all, a U.S. Congresman who goes crazy in a letter with accusations needs to be respected - and his letter may have earned the issue some time delay. Reading Zinke's letter is a humorous experience as he loses it totally on the Army's Col. Buck. Lets hope the good Colonel is not harrassed because of Zinke's tirade.
As more develops, we will either report or link to it for you. We will do our best. Which brings me to the following.
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