Wyoming coal wants Northwest ports - KOTA Territory News

Wyoming coal wants Northwest ports


Legal and political disputes in the Northwestern part of the country are impacting the economy of many Wyoming cities.

Wyoming's coal industry wants to send its product to proposed shipping ports in Oregon and Washington, which would then send the coal to Asia, where there is a high demand for coal.

Environmental groups are concerned about the possible effects on water and air quality.

Sheridan Mayor Dave Kinskey believes the first port won't open for three to seven years.

"That means a slowdown and continued unemployment for a lot of folks here in Wyoming that are proud to be part of the coal industry," said Kinskey.

Many Sheridan businesses deal with the coal industry, like Inter-Mountain Laboratories, which does environmental monitoring work.  Inter-Mountain would expect an economic boost to the area if the ports were approved and opened.

"I guess everyone here feels if they're going to be burning coal in Asia, it may as well come from here.  It's a great opportunity for this part of the world," said Inter-Mountain Vice President Kevin Chartier.

Chartier also claims the environmental affect of the coal trains should not exceed federal standards.

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