Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0000760
Received: 8/16/2013 3:09:00 PM
Commenter: Martin Westerman
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:Martin Westerman <email@example.com> Sent:Friday, August 16, 2013 3:09 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
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, WA Department of Ecology, and Cowlitz County Commission
From a business perspective, I oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Longview, WA. It will damage the local economy at a time when the Counties and State of Washington need to develop sustainable, long term enterprises and jobs. This is a short-term enterprise, whose revenues will be paid primarily to coal industry participants, not to Cowlitz County or Washington State recipients.
Analysts at Deutschebank, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and other business research enterprises predict that by 2030, industrialized nations will have closed 60% of all coal-fired plants and half of all oil- fired plants, and nuclear will be gone (the latest development is AEP's coal-fired power plant closures).
Presently, the U.S. wastes about 75% of all the energy it produces – through heat and transmission losses, and inefficient designs and operations of vehicles, buildings and equipment. Dramatically improving our energy efficiency (reference RMI's Reinventing Fire) is reducing and eliminating our needs to mine coal or uranium for “clean” coal and “safe” nuclear plants, drill for oil offshore and in the Arctic, or dig up Alberta and North Dakota tar sands. China, which is expected to buy U.S. coal, is the world's leading renewable energy developer. Between 2005 and 2010, it cut its GDP energy intensity by 19%, through improvements in energy efficiency.
While its absolute carbon emissions continue to rise, driven by coal-fired power generation, China has also put a price on carbon through provincial emissions trading systems, which will soon go national. All these carbon reduction programs are designed to incentivize investments in efficiency and low carbon technology. Coal imports are only 6% of China's total supply, and not likely to grow. Basically, if coal is not mined and used, carbon emissions are not released, and health risks are not created. This also applies to other fossil fuels.
Several Northwest coal port business analyses have been done on long-term export prospects to Asia, in the context of world energy demand. Basically, the world market is fickle, and coal port advocates overestimate Northwest job and revenue numbers. Coal mine and plant owners are struggling to stave off industry-wide ruin by attempting to sell their heavyweight cargo overseas, using the smokescreens of job creation and local economy-building, and ignoring the "externalities" of environmental impacts. Long before we run out of fossil fuels, we just won’t need them. As we have often heard, “We didn’t leave the Stone Age because we ran out of stones.” None of us needs a coal port anywhere on the west coast.
Martin Westerman 9361 47th Av SW Seattle, WA 98136