Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0001292 

Received: 10/22/2013 6:57:42 PM
Commenter: Emilie Marlinghaus
Organization: 
State: Oregon

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
Submission Text
MILLENIUM BULK TERMINAL: CLIMATE CHANGE CONCERNS As a resident of Central OR for more than 8 years & long time environmental advocate, I have been following the issue of expanded coal shipments through the Northwest with considerable interest and growing concern. As I understand it, the Longview Millenium Terminal is one of 3 currently under consideration for the bi-state area, the combined capacity of which would be greater than 100 million tons per annum. Longview alone would have the capacity of processing ~ 44million tons of coal/year, making it, if permitted, the largest coal export facility in the U.S. I’m aware the EIS must focus on the economic, environmental, water quality, and public health and safety issues that will all be significantly impacted by the permitting of this terminal; but given all that we currently understand about global warming and the catastrophic contributions to GHGs (please consult the 5th Assessment of the IPCC, released on 9/30/13) that the mining, shipping, and burning of fossil fuels entails (coal being one of the worst offenders), it seems imperative that this EIS must also consider the combined effects on climate change of those activities: beginning at the Powder Basin mines, including transport by train and barge to the Northwest Terminals & by ship across the Pacific, to the burning of this coal in Asian power plants. And in order to be both responsible and complete, this EIS must include the combined impacts of the three terminals currently being considered: Bellingham & Longview in WA & Boardman in OR. The U.N.’s highly regarded Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -referenced above - is perhaps the world’s leading authority on the science of climate change. Their recently released 5th Assessment Report generated much commentary from around the world. Listed below are three quotes from that commentary,selected to put into even sharper focus the critical importance of considering the cumulative climate change implications of expanding our reliance on fossil fuels that the permitting of these terminals (3) would entail. ** In a recent U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committe hearing, Sec. of Energy, Ernest Moniz, when responding to a question concerning the time frame to act on climate change stated: “In my view, this decade is the critical one {because} the CO2 problem is cumulative. And every ton we emit, you can check it off against our children and grandchildren.” ** From a letter presented the first week of October to EU President, Jose Barroso, & EU ministers & heads of state, signed by a well respected group of 21 Nobel Laureate peace advocates & scientists: “The world can no longer ignore, except at our own peril, that climate change is one of the greatest threats facing life on this planet today.”... “In order to avoid catastrophic climate change, the IEA (International Energy Agency) calculates that two thirds of known fossil fuel reserves must be left in the ground.”....”Now is the time to transition swiftly away from fossil fuels, with a special focus on those that pollute the most.” ** And from a summary preview of the IPCC’s new report , released by Citizens Climate Lobby on 9/25/13: “It’s past time to start reducing greenhouse gas emissions, especially the carbon dioxide spewed by the burning of fossil fuels....”The window of opportunity is rapidly closing to take action that will avert the worst effects of climate change. As the IPCC’s chief Rajendra Pachauri recently put it, ‘ We have five minutes before Midnight.’ The only way to stop the clock is by taking the path to a clean energy economy.” Given the growing consensus from around the world of the imperative for urgent action to address global climate change, failure to consider the total contributions to GHGs that approving these terminals would imply would be morally reprehensible. Thank you for considering my comments on this most important issue.