Coal Exports Public Hearing is Tomorrow 12/13!

Posted: December 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Whether you are for or against the proposed Gateway Pacific coal export terminal on Cherry Point, attend the Seattle public hearing at the Washington State Convention Center, Ballroom 6F tomorrow (12/13/12) from 4-7pm. Plan to arrive early (3:30pm) if you want to have a  chance at testifying at the hearing. Previous hearings across the Pacific Northwest have drawn large crowds and have been quite contentious, and upwards of 3000 people are expected at tomorrow’s hearing.

RSVP with the Sierra club here. The Sierra Club is encouraging attendees to wear red in opposition of the coal trains.

Cliff Mass has a blog post about the environmental impacts of the proposed coal exports titled “Coal Trains: Bad for the Northwest Environment.” Additional anti-coal export facts can be found at Coal Train Facts. Their website states,

“There are currently plans to develop the largest coal export facility in North America at Cherry Point, in northwest Washington state. If the proposal is successful, the rail corridor extending from the mines in Montana and Wyoming through Idaho and Spokane, the Columbia River Gorge and along Puget Sound would be affected.  As many as 18 daily trains (9 full, 9 empty) would be required to shuttle coal from mines in Montana and Wyoming through Sandpoint, Idaho to Spokane, down through the Columbia River Gorge, then up along the Puget Sound coast, passing through Longview, Tacoma, Seattle, Edmonds, Everett, Mt. Vernon, Bellingham, Ferndale and all points in between.  More than 450 additional ships (over 900 transits) would be added to our already crowded waters.

Costs to local economiespublic health, and rail corridor communities are concerning to many. There is evidence to support that local jobs and businessesproperty valueshuman health and quality of life would be adversely impacted by the coal trains. Increased marine traffic and the coal terminal would affect fisheriesmarine ecosystemsand air quality. Further, substantial taxpayer investment may be required to support infrastructure required by the project and to mitigate some of the potential negative effects. There are questions as to whether damages to local businesses, regional identity, communities and fisheries could ever be adequately mitigated. The global impacts of coal export and coal combustion are significant, particularly when the future is considered.”

Seattle City Mayor announced today that the City of Seattle will commission “a study on the local economic impacts resulting from 18 coal trains passing through Seattle each day.” The impact analysis will include:

  • Impacts on operations and employment for the Port of Seattle
  • Impacts on operations, employment and sales for businesses along the proposed coal train route, including the Duwamish industrial and north waterfront districts
  • Evaluation of the displacement of higher value goods being shipped by rail
  • Determination of additional infrastructure improvements or policy measures that would be required to support coal train operations and/or mitigate coal train impacts



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