Monday, October 1, 2012

GPT: EIS Scoping Comment No. 8

Vessel & Rail Capacity & Congestion

The very ambitious proposed GPT project depends upon a very large wharf and trestle structure that extends into a known, critical herring spawning area and is in close proximity to BP's existing petroleum loading pier, which supplies crude oil from Alaska and ships valuable refined products from the refinery to US markets. 
Soon, BP will need to expand this facility to accommodate additional crude and refined products shipping for US consumption.

I am concerned that the huge GPT wharf will constitute too much potentially dangerous ship congestion in that immediate area, as well as the narrow shipping lanes that provide water access to it. It is particularly troubling that the use intended by GPT is to ship large volumes of American coal to foreign powers and competitors, while burdening communities and citizens to deal with the offsite impacts. 

A similar concern applies to GPT's dependence on BNSF's rail capacity, which likely will become necessary to convey petroleum products.

Our natural resources, rail system capacity and deepwater access are valuable, and should prioritize those uses that are in our national interest.
Rather than have the GPT proposal absorb so much rail and maritime access capacity, a better plan would be to reserve these capacities for existing, sustainable and domestically important uses.