Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
EPA wants full review of Northwest coal export project
As quoted in The Seattle Times: “Supporters say the coal-export projects would create jobs and generate revenue for local governments.” [“EPA asks for review of Oregon coal project,” NWWednesday, April 18.]
This does not represent the truth.
There is clear evidence that coal trains could well “produce” a net loss of jobs, financial injury to businesses, a lowering of property-tax valuations and cause a drop in tourism and related businesses (in particular with relation to the proposed coal trains and port at Cherry Point).
Other more direct environmental effects include: diesel pollution, coal-dust pollution (both leading to an increase in asthma and other illnesses), congestion on the major waterways, disruption to sea life even without a spill or other accident.
We must take a holistic view of all projects. Insidious pollutants blow back from China to us with the prevailing winds. There is no doubt that these will exact further damage back here at home in the form of acid rain.
Without major subsidies that you and I provide the coal industry, renewable sources such as solar and wind power could be competitive. Coal exports enhance China’s ability to increase productivity. If we want a rich and sustainable future that provides new jobs and livable, breathable surroundings here at home we must move forward, not backward.
— Phyllis Bravinder, Anacortes
Wide scope of impacts
I am encouraged by the Environmental Protection Agency’s urging of the Army Corps of Engineers to consider a wide scope of impacts from proposed coal-export terminals in the Northwest.
The true effects on human health and the environment would span from the mouth of the mine, through rail communities, in the towns surrounding the terminals, and the air we all breathe. Public hearings must be held throughout the region to fully understand the many issues.
A broad scope Environmental Impact Statement should include traffic, pollution, safety and congestion all along the rail lines; mining in Wyoming and Montana, particularly on public lands, and its effect on domestic energy security and pricing; effect on global coal consumption due to the effects of export on market prices and the resulting increase in greenhouse gas emissions; and effects of significantly increased barge and cargo ship operations on the Columbia River and in Puget Sound.
— Leah Valleroy, Seattle