Cloud Peak Energy invests with Gateway Pacific Terminal to ship coal mined on Crow Reservation

News coverage of the event here.

LA Times article about Lummi Nation’s opposition here.

The Crow Tribe signed an agreement August 7, 2015, to become a 5% shareholder of Gateway Pacific Terminal, which is a partnership to open shipping ports in Washington.  The deal coincides with Cloud Peak Energy’s arrangement to pay Gateway Pacific Terminal $32 million to construct a port on Puget Sound that can ship 60 million tons of exports a year including coal mined on the Crow Reservation to Asian markets.  The Tribe leased coal to Cloud Peak Energy from its sole mine in 2013, but a new mine on the reservation could bring 20 million tons annually through the new port.

Although the Tribe does not owe any money up front it could be responsible for 5% of an estimated $700 million construction budget.  Final approval is still required from the Crow Tribe and the federal government.  Environmental surveys and plans are being conducted currently and there is opposition from both environmental and native groups including the Lummi Nation, who exercise fishing rights near the proposed port site.