Letter: Focus on benefits of coal exports



The Sierra Club and other special interest groups give coal trains a bad rap because they lack knowledge of the facts. I have read that three to four trains a day have passed through Clark County for decades. Before the current anti-coal campaign, there was never a complaint about coal dust to my recollection. We are told that coal trains also have traveled through the Puget Sound region for decades.

BNSF Railway has run tests on 1,633 coal trains and found that sealants sprayed on loaded coal cars dramatically reduce coal dust. Thermal depolymerization is a process similar to refining a barrel of oil, except TDP makes oil, natural gas and carbon out of waste materials. TDP can extract from coal sulfur, mercury, naphtha and many other olefins, all stable commodities. This makes them burn hotter and cleaner.

So stop the nonsense scare tactics. We need jobs, cheaper and more reliable electricity, energy and an economic boost to our economy. Along with current technology on the reduction of particulate matter emissions, these facts far outweigh the critics’ war on coal.

Lee Powers