Power Past Coal

coaltrainAll major religious denominations are questioning the use of coal as a power source. Mining, processing, and burning coal destroys creation in many ways, from the ravaged mountain tops of the Appalachian plateau to coal ash landslides and toxic sediment in river valleys. Global warming pollution from coal plants exacerbates droughts and floods for the poorest of God’s children around the world, those whose meager crops require a reliable climate for subsistence.

Religious communities around the country have led the successful fight against new coal plants. In 2011, Earth Ministry played a central role in the agreement to close TransAlta in Washington State. Now we are taking the lead in opposing coal export.

Photo: Paul K. Anderson

Photo: Paul K. Anderson

Coal companies, seeing little future growth domestically, have a new plan: strip-mine coal in Montana and Wyoming, transport it on long coal trains and massive cargo ships through Washington and Oregon, and sell it to Asia. Exporting coal from Northwest ports pollutes our air and water and violates our religious values.

Coal mining and shipping leaves a devastated landscape and pollutes water and skies around the world. Every step of the coal-fired process is dangerous to human health, from mining and processing to transporting to burning and waste. Coal burning is poor stewardship. For the first time in our country, our children may not inherit a better world. It doesn’t have to be this way. There are already more than twice as many jobs in wind and solar power than in the entire coal industry. Coal is an enemy of the common good. Big coal companies want to take our country backward and damage the world we leave our children by blocking solutions to the serious problem of climate change. The religious community knows that climate disrup­tion is real and won’t be deceived. People of faith are standing up to the big coal companies and saying NO to coal export from Northwest ports.

WAIPL-coal-hearing-MAPS-editFaith communities have been influential in each aspect of the transition away from coal and toward clean energy. We do this because of our love of creation, and our call to justice and the common good.

Earth Ministry leads the faith voice in the Power Past Coal campaign. Unite your voice in stewardship for creation.

News and Events

Op Ed: Common Cause Against Coal

An Op-Ed about the partnership between PNW tribes and faith leaders from our very own LeeAnne Beres and Lummi Master Carver Jewell Praying Wolf James. Publicola August 28, 2014 Earlier this month, the state of Oregon denied Ambre Energy’s permit application for its proposed coal…
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Oregon Denies Permit for Proposed Coal Export Terminal

The Oregon State Department of Lands has denied a key permit required for Ambre Energy to move forward with the proposed Morrow Pacific coal export terminal. The denial of the removal-fill permit is a huge roadblock for Ambre Energy’s project, playing a key role in…
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Op Ed: Blessing for the Totem Pole Journey

Fantastic faith leader, Rev. Charis Weathers of Echoes Lutheran Church in Bellingham, wrote an eloquent Op-Ed for the August 14 edition of Cascadia Weekly. The piece is a reflection as she prepared a blessing for the kick-off ceremony of the Lummi Nation’s Totem Pole Journey.…
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Department of Ecology says it will take a broad scope on Longview Coal Export Terminal

The Washington Department of Ecology listened to the people and the more than 215,000 comments they received last fall on coal export and has announced that they will be protecting the people of the northwest by taking into account all of the impacts of the coal export process.
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Further Resources

Faith & Coal Export Earth Ministry handout

Testimony Against Coal Export by the Rev. Hunt Priest, Earth Ministry Board Member and Rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Mercer Island

Coal and Caring for Creation: A Catholic Perspective by The Washington State Catholic Conference

United Church of Christ Coal Export Resolution

Presbytery of Seattle Overture on Coal Exports to Asia

Coal Hard Truth Forum Comments by The Rev. Kathleen Patton, Rector, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Longview, WA on October 25, 2011 in Vancouver, WA