Environmental activists are suing the federal government over the exports of Appalachian coal, saying it approved a $90 million loan guarantee to one company without considering the implications for air and water pollution. The first-of-its-kind lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco says communities near mines, ports and railways that connect them are all affected.
It says the U.S. Export-Import Bank failed to review the environmental impacts as required under the National Environmental Policy Act when it provided a $90 million loan guarantee last year to Xcoal Energy & Resources. Xcoal is shipping from ports in Baltimore and Norfolk, Va., to Japan, South Korea, China and Italy.
The National Mining Association said Wednesday it was reviewing the complaint. While coal consumption has declined gradually, overseas exports have risen.