The Trump administration is considering using military installations or other federal facilities on the West Coast as transshipment points for moving coal and natural gas to export markets to Asia. The approach is being looked at as a way to advance the administration’s priority to establish American “energy dominance” while countering opposition from West Coast states to allowing exports of coal and natural gas.
“I respect the state of Washington and Oregon and California,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the Associated Press. “But also, it’s in our interest for national security and our allies to make sure that they have access to affordable energy commodities.” Zinke said that may require the use of “some of our naval facilities, some of our federal facilities on the West Coast.”
Potential sites would need deep water ports, and few such locations exist on the West Coast. Zinke broached the prospect of converting the former Adak Naval Air Facility in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, which closed in 1997, to a transit point for natural gas. Six proposed coal ports in Washington and Oregon have been rejected or shelved recently, prompting criticism from coal-producing states.
Photo by Jack Corn