Monday, April 30, 2012

Coal: Expanding Concerns

As the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal festers in our collective consciousness and weighs heavily on our future, other communities are now becoming more concerned about the certain negative impacts it would bring to everyone along the rail and water routes needed to support it.
And that says nothing about the air we all must breathe, whether degraded by coal-fired Chinese power plants or not.

Notice that no additional 'benefits' have been forthcoming since the initial PR hype [of more jobs and associated 'free' tax revenues to local government]; only a steady stream of logical impacts that most people would not hesitate to call 'negatives' with recognized threats and unfunded costs.

Hard to imagine an official Environmental Impact Statement [EIS] is required to prove something that is already as well known and publicly accepted, isn't it?
But, since an EIS will be required, it -at least- should be as broadly drawn and detailed as possible to help convince the bureaucrats who will conduct it to reach the right choices and conclusions.

I am glad to see this debate is growing so exponentially, as others are also waking up to the unseen threats they certainly share with us.

For example, Crosscut published this recent article, by Daniel Jack Chasan.

Since Powder River Basin Coal is mined and shipped from Montana and Wyoming, readers may be interested in this article that appeared in The Outpost, the Billings, MT paper.

Locally, Whatcom Watch has published in its April issue, two additional articles by Preston Schiller, here and here.

This article addresses potential adverse health impacts of increased train traffic.

With the confusion about when public comments may be submitted to Whatcom County regarding the GPT EIS, I decided to just go ahead and submit this list of previous blogs by e-mail on 4/22/2012:

Here are the URLs for 33 Blogs concerning coal I have written from March 27, 2011 through now on HamsterTalk at
Please incorporate these into the public record as part of my comments.
Also, please contact me at if any problem is encountered in making these comments, including links to other websites, so that I may make any corrections necessary.

1. Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear... Sunday, March 27, 2011

3. Good Mornin' America, How Are Ya? Wednesday, June 8, 2011

5. Making Tracks To Where? Friday, July 15, 2011

7. Coal Terminal: Trains & Infrastructure Saturday, July 30, 2011

9. Coal Terminal: Update on Developments Monday, August 1, 2011

10. Coal Terminal: Another Update Tuesday, August 2, 2011

11. Coal Terminal: Playing Defense Wednesday, August 3, 2011

13. Coal: A Global Perspective Thursday, September 1, 2011

14. Coal: Floyd McKay's Latest Crosscut Article Wednesday, September 28, 2011

15. Coal: Green versus Gold? Wednesday, October 19, 2011

16. Coal: The Role of Politics Wednesday, October 19, 2011

17. Coal: National Geographic Article Friday, October 21, 2011

18. Coal: NPR Weighs In With Two Articles Thursday, October 27, 2011

19. Big Coal meets Cherry Point's tiny herring Friday, October 28, 2011

20. Coal: Where Does Bellingham Really Stand? Sunday, October 30, 2011

23. Coal: Possible Good News? Thursday, November 10, 2011

25. Impacts: Coal Versus Oil Sands Thursday, November 17, 2011

26. Trains: 'Here's Mud In Your Eye'Thursday, December 15, 2011

28. Coal: Specific Actions Bellingham Must Take Sunday, January 1, 2012
29. Coal & Climate Friday, January 27, 2012
30. Constitution, Corporations & Coal Wednesday, February 22, 2012
33. Coal: Updating Public Concerns Thursday, March 29, 2012