Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0000307
Received: 9/17/2013 11:50:00 PM
Commenter: Eric Strid
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
From:Eric Strid <email@example.com> Sent:Tuesday, September 17, 2013 11:50 PM To:firstname.lastname@example.org Subject:Docket number 2013-19738: Comment on scope of EIS for Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview LLC Coal Export Terminal
Dear U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, WA Department of Ecology, and Cowlitz County Commission,
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Longview, WA which would transport coal on trains and ships throughout the Northwest.
This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, and delaying emergency responders. It would also damage aquatic ecosystems and fishing areas on the Columbia River, harm human health, increase tanker traffic and the potential for shipping accidents and spills, expand strip-mining in Wyoming and Montana, and escalate climate change.
There are no possible benefits to Washington residents and many real downsides. The potential jobs created would be minimal-a coal terminal is totally automated, employing just one joystick jockey per shift. There would be no more railroad jobs than for any other type of cargo. The only job creation would be in health care and in cleaning up the 1% of the coal (millions of tons) that is lost between the Powder River Basin and the export terminal (according to BNSF).
For my community in the Columbia Gorge, coal transportation through the region would cause environmental, health, safety, and productivity degradations that would negatively affect recreation and tourism business, decrease demand for living near a coal chute, drive away new businesses, delay emergency services and commercial traffic, and decrease property values. It is ironic that the world- class winds that attract millions of tourist dollars to the Gorge every summer are the same winds that blow coal off the uncovered train cars into the pristine Gorge environment.
The business model for coal is absurd, regardless of location. It is well documented that a dollar of coal creates between four and ten dollars of healthcare, land use, and environmental damages. You and I and our children pay and will pay those costs, not coal companies. This is why the EPA has finally cracked down on coal plants and the coal industry is struggling to find more gullible countries to buy it. Only the multinational coal companies are hyping coal and spreading disinformation about the safety of fossil fuels.
On a global scale, nothing will be more important than maintaining a climate that enables our children and grandchildren to grow enough food and have enough water to survive. Most countries, the World Bank, 97% of climate scientists, the Department of Defense, and the State Department all agree that we are on an emissions trend that will turn farmlands into deserts, raise sea levels, accelerate species extinctions, and create many millions of climate refugees- within just 20 years. Only nuclear war could cause more damage to the planet than this suicidal path we're on. What could be more important than stopping the most polluting energy source on the planet, especially when affordable clean energy options exist and generate far more jobs?
I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.
Eric Strid PO Box 2028 White Salmon, WA 98672