Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0000656
Received: 10/9/2013 3:15:14 PM
Commenter: Randy Siltanen
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
Regarding U.S. coal exports to Asia:
In years past, coal played an important role in providing energy for our country. But at the time, no one knew about the many dangerous problems related to the mining and burning of coal. No one knew about coal workers pneumoconiosis and increased risks of lung cancer. No one thought about dangerous chemicals in coal ash leaching into our drinking water supplies. No one worried about leveling a mountaintop, because there were lots of mountaintops. No one knew that carbon dioxide released by coal burning plants would result in climate change. No one knew about melting glaciers and dying coral reefs. No one knew that mercury emissions released by the burning of coal would find their way into the bodies of ocean creatures; and that today our children should not eat tuna more than once a week, or else risk poisoning their nervous systems with mercury.
We didn’t know about all of these things, and at the time there were not a lot of other energy options available.
But now we do know about all of these problems. And now we have lots of options – clean and renewable energy options, which include wind, solar, and hydropower.
We live on one planet, a planet that shares common oceans and a very thin atmosphere. These have to last humanity forever, not just a few more decades. In Asia there are fewer regulations regarding air and water quality than there are in America. And what happens in Asia does not stay in Asia. Burning coal in China or India causes ice to melt half a world away. Harmful emissions produced in Asia blow over the Pacific and back to America.
If we choose to dig up our coal and sell it to our international neighbors we are simply moving our problem from our back yard to our front yard. And we would also use enormous amounts of oil to transport the coal across our country and across the ocean to do this, utilizing dwindling supplies of this finite and precious resource, while also adding to climate change. This action is not sustainable or logical.
Our country needs to change our way of thinking, and focus our efforts on producing clean, renewable energy that can sustain our civilization forever. Utilizing wind/solar/hydroelectric energy technologies is necessary for the health of our planet, and the health of our great grandchildren. This would also benefit our economy, as we would be providing a much needed commodity to American citizens. We could also export our clean energy products and technology to other countries. This is a far better option than choosing to export a polluting raw material such as coal.
Randy A. Siltanen, M.D.
1901 Foley St. LaGrande, Oregon 97850
541 910 6193 email@example.com