Monday, July 2, 2012

Coal: Before the Council Meeting

It's now after 6 PM, just before the City Council meeting tonight at 7 PM, when concerned citizens will likely express a few views regarding the proposed GPT and its supply retinue of 1.5-mile coal trains.
I could speculate about what might be said, but I won't, preferring to watch the proceedings first on BTV10, the City's public education/government channel.

This morning's news carried little new information, except for this short blurb from KGMI.

But, two other sources did carry interesting articles that relate to our little problem:

Sightline carried this piece about coal train export facilities in Oregon.

And, quite by chance, I discovered a 24-page piece written by one of my favorite authors, John McPhee and published in 2 parts in the New Yorker Magazine back in 2005.
This well written account in pdf format, describes a personal, in-depth investigation of coal train operations emanating from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.
McPhee actually travels on coal trains -empty and full- and interviews the engineers, conductors and others in the process, plus visit a huge mine, a huge power plant and a huge rail yard in North Platte, Nebraska.
One can get a much better sense of what this experience entails, as well as an absolute load of factual information that illuminates very clearly what most of us don't know -and maybe can't even imagine!
I highly recommend reading this as excellent source material.

Now, for popcorn and a sober watching of BTV10......

Maybe tomorrow will produce more information on several actions discussed, proposed -and perhaps even taken in the public interest.
Count on it!