Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002782 

Received: 11/9/2013 7:04:00 PM
Commenter: Brian Mulligan

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
From:Brian Mulligan <> Sent:Saturday, November 09, 2013 7:05 PM Subject:Docket number 2013-19738: Comment on scope of EIS for Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview LLC Coal Export Terminal

Dear U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, WA Department of Ecology, and Cowlitz County Commission,

I'm writing because I'm concerned about the possibility that Millennium Bulk Terminal will be built; then all but abandoned because of market changes.

Construction of the terminal, rail improvements and crossing upgrades will all be very disruptive and possibly damaging to fish and wildlife. These sacrifices are significant even when there is a perceived payback. Should the market for coal weaken considerably, the investment becomes a dramatic lost opportunity; what could have been accomplished were those resources directed toward 21st century industries?

This is not idle speculation on my part. All or most of the coal planned for shipping out of Millennium Bulk Terminal is destined for China, which accounts for about half of the world's coal consumption. Demand for coal in China is down, however. According to Wu Yin, deputy director of the National Energy Administration at the China International Forum on Coal Industry, coal output has seen rapid growth since the beginning of the year, but that coal consumption is slowing down and inventories are increasing, which led to huge price drops. ( 11/2/12)

It is likely that part of the reason for the decline is China's push to 'go green'. According to Ross Garnaut, one of Australia's top economists, "China has exceeded its ambitious emissions targets, cutting coal- fired generation by more than 7 per cent in the past year. A rapid expansion of hydroelectricity, wind, biomass, solar and nuclear power had pushed down coal's share of energy production from 85 to 73 per cent."

This is a case of deja-vu all over again. Twice before - in Portland and Los Angeles - a gamble on purported insatiable demand for coal from China has backfired.

China is out ahead of the U.S. when it comes to clean energy. The good news, however, is that our ability to innovate means we can still lead!

Please estimate the public/private investment involved in the Millennium Bulk Terminal proposal and examine the relative cost/benefit of using that money and those resources to develop energy from hydroelectricity, wind, biomass, solar and nuclear power. Thank you.

Brian Mulligan 2318 Keesling St. Bellingham, WA 98225 360.715.1969