Letter: Stop coal train proposals
Thursday, January 24, 2013
On Jan. 14, The Columbian published the front-page story: "Seattle readies for effects of climate change." On Jan. 15, The Columbian ran a picture of smog in Chinese cities so debilitating that hundreds rushed to hospitals with respiratory emergencies and no one ventured outside without a face mask.
Coal consumption is a major contributor to greenhouse gases that drive both global climate change and devastating smogs.
At present, there are proposals for five new coal export terminals on the West Coast -- the first in Bellingham -- to ship yet more coal to Asian sources.
Clearly, increasing coal use is not in anyone's best interests. It already contributes to misery in Asia and climate change worldwide.
Further, on a local level, trains transporting coal to these terminals cause diesel pollution, numerous coal dust hazards, inconvenience and noise.
Also, they harm small businesses along the route, decrease property values, and risk polluting the Columbia River and its tributaries.
Even if I didn't care about China or climate change or Seattle, I would definitely care about my property values and quality of life.
Let's do everyone a favor and stop these proposals before they go any further.
Diana L. Gordon