Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Washington the Wheezer State: Should Washington State approve new coal exporting facilities?

Why would Washington State permit the exporting of death?

I have concerns about our state's tacit promotion of death-by-coal, and that depiction is no exaggeration, according to official state documents (See links below.).

The State of Washington is (rightly) promoting Carbon Pollution Standards, in my opinion:  The first year we will avoid up to 100,000 asthma attacks and 2,100 heart attacks, the state says.

So tell me this: Why are we planning to become one of the nation's largest exporters of coal? Will that also make us the largest exporter of lung disease and lung-deaths?

The state may allow the construction of the huge, coal-exporting facilities in Whatcom County and elsewhere. How huge? Consider the $660 million investment required for the Gateway Pacific coal export terminal at Cherry Point near Bellingham, WA. The GPT is perhaps the largest such proposed project, though certainly not the only one.

The arguments pro

Shipping coal to China will help raise people out of misery: Coal is merely an interim industry, the promoters claim, but is that really true? I am taking their arguments with a grain of salt: Given that those making that claim are set to invest over $600 million; there must be enormous profits involved.

I would like to see an objective health impact statement for those living in China and elsewhere that the coal is used. I would also like to see an objective, scientific assessment of the likely impacts on foreign and global air pollution.

West Coast physicians:   Health impacts overseas not questioned

At least 200 physicians have have voiced concerns, but they address only the health hazards impacting people living on the West Coast of the USA.

The coal exporters say the coal is China's bright hope, they imply that we will be their saviors; how objective is that assessment, however, seeing as it is made by companies holding huge economic stakes: the coal and shipping industries? I would take that optimistic assessment with a grain of salt.

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More information:


http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards  ( Columbia River @EPAcolumbia  ·  In 1st year, @EPA Clean Power Plan will avoid up to 100,000 asthma attacks & 2,100 heart attacks)



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