We’ve all been reading about the great need to cover coal trains and what a horrific impact it will be to “our” health if this isn’t done or preferably that we don’t increase coal shipments at all. On Sept. 8, I just happened to be heading west on state Highway 14 just outside of White Salmon; about 90 degrees and stunningly clear. Driving that nice level road toward Dog Mountain pacing beside a long coal train, I thought what a perfect opportunity to see the dust flying. I am right alongside this train loaded coal cars and I can’t see one speck of that evil coal flying off. Even if it was a microscopic dust I should have been able to visualize some sort of haze in the slipstream. I see nothing but clear air a foot above the coal and into the sky. And I know that coal was most likely bone dry since it was extracted because we haven’t had a good rain in months in the west. Conditions were perfect for dust and there’s nada, zip, zero dust.
I’m convinced this argument of uncovered coal trains being harmful is nothing more than an alarmists’ red herring to stifle growth, development and good jobs at home.