Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002347
Received: 11/19/2013 12:17:30 AM
Commenter: Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin
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
November 18, 2013
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, WA Department of Ecology, and Cowlitz County Commission,
As an ordained pastor, I am deeply concerned about the Millennium Terminal because of its implications from beginning to end: from the environmental and health impacts of mining the coal, to the extraordinary range of potential negative impacts and significant risks of its transportation via rail and barge, to the truly devastating impacts on global climate change from the carbon dioxide produced by its burning – wherever it is burned. Every one of these impacts – actual or potential – has profound spiritual and moral implications about which I am deeply troubled.
As a mother of two sons, ages 8 and 5, I am even more deeply troubled by the impact of these coal exports on the quality of my children’s lives, and also on the quality – even the possibility – of life for my children’s children and for generations to come.
As I understand it, the question you are seeking to answer is how broad a scope of environmental impact should be considered when deciding whether or not to approve this terminal. For me, the answer is obvious: every single actual or potential negative impact from the extraction of the coal to its burning must be considered. Absolutely nothing should be excluded from study when making this decision.
Why? As I said, my sons are ages 8 and 5. Right now, they are still just beginning to understand that their actions have consequences, that the decisions they make have implications for good or for ill. Because they are still children, they do not have the developmental capacity to take into account the wide array of implications of their actions. Through the process of action and reflection, they will develop that capacity and thereby ultimately assume their responsibility as adults – adults who DO have the capacity to take into account the vast implications of their actions, and to make decisions out of that capacity.
We are no longer children. We have a sacred responsibility as adults to study every single possible negative impact of this terminal, from extraction to burning, and from now to centuries into the future. The failure to do so is an abdication of that sacred responsibility. And given what we know about climate change alone, the failure to do so – willfully choosing to not take into account some of the possible negative impacts of this decision – is unconscionable. I call on you to take up your sacred responsibility. Thank you.
With trust and hope,
Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin