People in St. Helens weighed Wednesday on one of two coal export projects proposed for their local port.
Ambre Energy wants to ship coal from Montana and Wyoming to Asia. The company proposes two stops in Oregon along the way, in Boardman and St. Helens.
Company representatives spoke to the St. Helens City Council to drum up support. They told about 60 people at the public forum that their proposal will deliver nearly $2 million a year to local governments and create dozens of full-time jobs.
Reactions to the presentation were mixed. Many said they want the project for economic development. But others were skeptical.
St. Helens resident Patrick Cunningham says he doesn’t think the local economy will see the benefits.
Cunningham said, “The people who would work on this barge facility would not work in Columbia County. They’re longshoremen, and they’re based in Longview or Portland, and so they’re not spending any money at all here.”
Ambre says the company will voluntarily give $350,000 a year to local schools to ensure local benefits.
The public has until May 5 to comment on Ambre’s application to build a dock for the project in Boardman.
(This was first reported for OPB News.)
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