Govs. Jay Inslee and John Kitzhaber came through for us all by joining together in urging our federal government to address global air quality consequences of proposed coal export projects (“Governors ask Obama to evaluate coal exports,” March 25, 2013). They cite direct costs being imposed on people, businesses, and communities in the U.S. and around the world by increasing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants resulting from burning coal. Inevitable environmental and health costs are simply too high a price for local and regional communities to endure so that out-of-state companies can profit at our expense.
Negligible job creation and potential tax revenues have been touted by coal export proponents as a justifiable rationale for running coal exports through the Northwest. The truth is that these questionable “benefits” simply do not hold up under careful analysis as viable offsets to the significant harm (to our air, water, health, and quality of life) that will unfold should coal exports through the Pacific Northwest proceed as proposed.