Thursday June 2, at 4pm, Millennium Bulk Terminals of Longview, WA will be holding a rally at TRAC in Pasco, in support of a proposed coal exporting and commercial bulk project in economically distressed Cowlitz County.

Millennium, which began operations in Longview in 1941, is a terminal that specializes in preparing large shipments of various materials for overseas exports, very large amounts, or bulk shipping.

Over four years ago, they began the permit process to build and operate a coal export terminal, which would prepare tons of coal for export to other nations around the world. The coal would be brought to the location by train. These are the coal trains you hear so much about in the news.

This project has been in the bullseye of Gov. Inslee and environmental groups since it's inception, and numerous roadblocks have been thrown up by various governmental agencies and the environmental movement.

Cowlitz County, which is where Longview is located, has been one of the more economically distressed areas in Washington state, with an unemployment rate at times reaching 8 percent. According to data supplied by Milennium, the rate has reached 10.4% at times.

Millennium and other local officials say thousands of jobs would be created by the project, and many of them remaining as workers will be needed to maintain and operate the facility.

Environmentalists point to what they say are the dangers of transporting coal by train, and it's related pollution. Washington state and other western regions don't rely on coal, our last coal fired plant closed several years ago. However, Millennium and other officials say opposing or stopping the coal terminal will not keep China and other nations from continuing to rely on coal for their expanding industrialization.

While certain political leaders and environmentalists continue to fight coal and related projects in the U.S. the rest of the world continues to utilize it for industrial power and production.

The rally is one of three planned in Washington state, previous rallies in Longview and Spokane on Tuesday of this week were reportedly well attended.

The event's main activities will begin at four pm at TRAC in Pasco.