Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002106
Received: 11/15/2013 6:34:52 PM
Commenter: Richard Keigley
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
With the capacity to ship 44 million metric tons (an amount equivalent to 4.4% of current US production of 1,100 million short tons), the Millennium Bulk Terminal would have impacts that extend far beyond the terminal and local area. The scope of the EIS should reflect those broader, regional and national concerns.
With respect to a regional scale, the scope of the MBT EIS should be broad enough to address the effect of an increase in mining in the Western states and the effect of transport from mine to terminal.
• Will an increased demand for export coal require additional leasing of public land for coal production? Have these areas been identified? What are the potential environmental impacts?
• Increased rail traffic will cause delays at grade crossings.
How many of these crossings involve situations where delay could jeopardize health and safety, say by separating population centers from hospitals? What will be the cost of such delays?
• If delays result in calls for the construction of overpasses, who will pay? How much?
On a national scale, the increased export of coal could pose a threat to the security of future U.S. generations. Coal is a finite resource, and estimates for the period in which it can be profitably mined range somewhere between 100 and 200 years. Will our great grandchildren thank us for accelerating the depletion of this important source of energy? Because export through the MBT would facilitate the depletion of this natural resource, the scope of the MBT EIS should address long-term national impacts:
• What is the economic tradeoff between the short-term gain in jobs and corporate profit versus the long-term loss of energy potential? Would it be economically advantageous to conserve this vital resource until technological advances make it ecologically benign to use?
• What is the economic tradeoff between the short-term gain in jobs and corporate profit versus the long-term enhancement of our global competitors?
By facilitating a 44 million metric ton increase in coal burning, the construction of the MBT will contribute to global climate change, resulting in effects such as an increase in extreme weather events and rising sea level. The Department of Defense perceives climate change as a national security challenge.