Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0000046
Received: 9/23/2013 1:22:35 AM
Commenter: Janet Jordan
Organization: Green Party of South Puget Sound
Agency: Cowlitz County, the Washington Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Initiative: Millennium Bulk-Terminals Longview EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
There are many reasons for not permitting the coal trains but in my opinion, the strongest reason is that selling our coal will make sure it is burned and turned into CO2 which will make climate change worse.
I want to address the argument I hear from the authorities so often, that “if we don’t sell the coal someone else will and it will get burnt anyway.” That’s sort of like saying, “If we don’t throw that little boy down and take his lunch money someone else will and he will lose it anyway, so we’d better do it.”
There’s a problem with the line of argument. If something is despicable, it’s despicable, and we shouldn’t do it. We know through our own moral sense what is despicable and what isn’t. It’s weak to base our decision on what other countries are doing.
It isn’t true that someone else will do the damage if we don’t. The coal producer looks for the most convenient port, and if that port refuses to do business with him, he has to go to port number 2 or 3. These are not as convenient, probably not as profitable, and they face the same challenges as his first choice: citizen outcry. They may just all say no.
Our example (the example of the most powerful country in the world) means something too. England had to decide what kind of example to provide in the 1800's. They refused to use their ships for slave traffic, even though other countries still did it and they could have still profited by that trade. All through our struggles with slavery and states’ rights, their example shone out silently. We can’t say for certain what influence their example had but it was present in people’s minds.
Please let’s refuse to assault our planet with more greenhouse gasses. We know what effect these have. It’s not like selling tobacco to a third world country when you can’t sell it in your own. That’s despicable too but the health effects stay in the country where the tobacco is sold, whereas climate change happens to our whole planet. We will be literally trashing our own house.
When you decide on the scope of the EIS for this project, please recognize the importance of this global issue.