Heavy Traffic Ahead: Rail Impacts of Powder River Basin Coal to Asia

Allison Roberts

Heavy Traffic Ahead identifies costs, many of which would fall on taxpayers, for infrastructure due to increased rail traffic. The price tag for upgrading rail lines, roads and other infrastructure to support proposed coal export facilities on the West Coast could reach into the billions of dollars across the four-state Northwest region. View report here.  Version 1.0.0  31 View(s)  1.51 …

The Cumulative Impacts of Coal Export

Allison Roberts

An explanation of the need for a “programmatic environmental impact statement,” that would provide an opportunity to analyze the “big picture” and give citizens throughout the region an opportunity to weigh in with decisionmakers.  Version 1.0.0  12 View(s)  439.31 KBDownload

Oregon railways

Allison Roberts

Map of Oregon’s freight railways, showing possible routes for coal trains along the Union Pacific line to Coos Bay, St. Helens or Boardman.  Version 1.0.0  24 View(s)  0.16 KBDownload

Coal Export FAQ

Allison Roberts

As North America’s appetite for coal wanes, coal companies are looking to China and other Asian markets to sell US-mined coal. Yet before large volumes of coal can be exported overseas, new shipping terminals would need to be built at port sites in the Northwest. In a new fact-finding report, Sightline examines the potential benefits and potential risks of coal …

Coal Exports From Canada

Allison Roberts

Virtually all coal exported by Canada is exported from just three ports in British Columbia. Most of it went to Asia, but in recent years very little US coal has been actually been exported through BC ports. Several of the ports are planning to expand their coal capacity, yet even with this additional capacity BC’s existing coal ports could not …

Coal Export: A History of Failure for Western Ports

Allison Roberts

Communities in Oregon and Washington are weighing the prospect of coal export facilities. Proponents of shipping American coal to Asia argue that coal will bring significant economic benefits to the region. In this research memo, we examine the risks of coal markets, review the history of coal exports on the West Coast, and evaluate the employment dimensions of coal terminals. …

Coal Export: The Greenhouse Gas Impact of Exporting Coal from the West Coast

Allison Roberts

Proponents of the coal export terminals claim that opening up the West Coast to the export of Powder River Basin coal will only change the source of the coal burned in Asia—not the total amount. This white paper explains why these arguments are incorrect, and inconsistent with both the basic principles of economics as well as the abundant literature regarding …

National Rail Freight Infrastructure Capacity and Investment Study

Allison Roberts

This study is an assessment of the long-term capacity expansion needs of the continental U.S. freight railroads. It provides a first approximation of the rail freight infrastructure improvements and investments needed to meet the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) projected demand for rail freight transportation in 2035. The U.S. DOT estimates that the demand for rail freight transportation—measured in …

Carbon Offshoring: The Legal and Regulatory Framework for U.S. Coal Exports

Allison Roberts

This report examines the legal and regulatory framework for U.S. coal exports, focusing in particular on the significant improvements in railroad and port infrastructure that will be necessary in order to boost the volume of overseas coal shipments to the degree anticipated by recent industry projections.  Version 1.0.0  32 View(s)  0.18 KBDownload