I disagree with state Sen. Tim Sheldon over the importance of developing our ports for the export of coal. Coal burned in other countries is important to consider because burning fossil fuels anywhere affects the climate everywhere.
Exporting coal for others to burn is the wrong thing to support. Shipping coal to Asia burns huge amounts of fossil fuel compounding the global warming problem.
The mining and transport of all fossil fuels pollutes everything it touches. Coal trains leave a trail of coal dust along the tracks and rain leaches toxic metal pollutants like arsenic, uranium and mercury into our streams. The EIS tries to estimate how bad the damage is going to be and who will be affected. It is a given that water, air and land will be polluted with coal.
I want our decision makers to have the courage to do what is right and best for the state, and shipping coal has a big impact everywhere it travels. Most of the world’s countries just agreed to reduce the burning of fossil fuels.
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The coal industry is desperate to sell coal before the world market collapses. It is a boom and bust deal. Why invest billions of dollars into infrastructure of a dying market? There is very little in this for Washington except few dirty jobs in a dying industry and pollution. Just leave it in the ground.