Conveyor belt of coal through the NW

Apr 20, 2012


In Bart Cronin’s letter published 29 March, 2012, he requests accurate facts regarding the proposed Cherry Point coal terminal.

He admonishes Strom Peterson for not getting them quite right.

I am indebted to Strom for bringing the essence of this important issue to Edmonds residents.

The exact facts are not totally clear yet, but if the Cherry Point Coal Terminal is approved an additional nine coal trains will pass through Edmonds in addition to the approximately three coal trains that now travel to Canada for shipment to China.

This is a huge increase, and what we do know is that the proponents of these terminals are not forthcoming with their actual plans.

For example, the coal terminal proposed for Longview by Millenium Bulk Industries said it would handle 5 million tons of coal; but, when the Sierra Club sued they found emails that stated the intended build out would be for 60 million; the Sierra Club cried foul and the permit to build was pulled.

A year later they have now re-submitted a permit for 44 million tons.  So, while Strom’s comments may or may not have been totally accurate the promoters of significantly increased coal shipments through the NW deliberately hide the facts to get what they want.

This kind of dishonestly is what really needs to be weeded out and understood.

They claim an increase of nine coal trains, but what might it really be once they are in business?

The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful and iconic place; do we really want to see a conveyer belt of coal running all along the Columbia and along Puget Sound for 100 jobs that will mostly come to an end in a few years when the coal terminals are completed.

And then our environment is stuck with this mess, and is spoiled, who will pay?

Not the promoters for this scheme to make a lot of money at the Washington State expense, and certainly not China who will burn this fuel and help to spoil the world’s environment.

For more information check out the Coal Free Edmonds Web Page at:

Join our monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of the month at the Edmonds Francis Anderson Center at 6:30 p.m.

Dennis Lowenthal


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