PNS Daily Newscast - January 18, 2019. 

A blockbuster storm forecast to bring major snowfall to the Midwest today, Northeast over the weekend. Also on the Friday rundown: Women’s Marches planned across the nation tomorrow; plus Democrats slog through Iowa on path to the White House.

Daily Newscasts

NWF Report Tracks Coal Trains: Concerns Derail Benefits

PHOTO: Loaded coal train cars.
PHOTO: Loaded coal train cars.
August 2, 2012

SHERIDAN, Wyo. - Questions about the effects of an increase in coal train traffic from the Powder River Basin have been raised by local groups - most notably, the Powder River Basin Resource Council - in recent months. Now, a national organization is urging caution.

The National Wildlife Federation has issued a report outlining possible harm to people, wildlife, water and agricultural operations. Its energy campaign director, Felice Stadler, explains.

"Communities from Montana and Wyoming to Oregon and Washington will have to contend with pollution from diesel and coal dust, polluted waters and ranch lands and lower quality of life for people and wildlife."

The report calls for environmental reviews by federal agencies before export terminals are activated on the West Coast. Plans are under way to ship coal from Wyoming and Montana to ports in Oregon and Washington - and on to Asia.

Stadler says potential damage should be assessed before more coal trains hit the tracks.

"We need to know the impacts on our fisheries and waters, the impacts on the communities that live along the rail lines, the impacts on wildlife that live on the front lines, and the impacts on our global climate."

The new markets in Asia are important to the coal industry because U.S. demand has been falling. Communities along the rail shipping routes would benefit from some revenue, coal projects bring tax money to Wyoming, and coal mining is a strong employment sector.

The report, "The True Cost of Coal," is online at

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY