coal train

The new corridor would extend through Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Seattle.
Image: Shutterstock

Imagine a day in the future when you can no longer bring your children to the beach.  Think about a time in which you can’t enjoy the local flora and fauna of your own backyard since everything is coated with a fine dusting of coal.  This may be the future if coal trains are allowed to traverse the northwestern United States.

Yes, coal trains bring business and generate jobs, but at what risk?  Are you willing to bet that will outweigh the issues of air quality, water quality and health?  Coal dust isn’t just annoying, like a dusting of dirt.  It settles into the water harming local aquatic life such as the fish we eat.  It seeps into the soil harming plants and animals.  You breathe in the fine particulate matter, like cigarette smoke, as you walk near railroad tracks.  It is not simply innocuous.

There are currently plans to develop the largest coal export facility in North America at Cherry Point, in northwest Washington State.  “If the Gateway Pacific Terminal is built, coal mined from the Powder River Basin by Peabody Energy would be hauled by trains along BNSF rail lines.  The terminal, a project of Pacific International Terminals, would be owned by SSA Marine, which is owned by Carrix, partnered with Goldman Sachs.”

“The coal train corridor extends from mines in Montana and Wyoming through Sandpoint, Idaho to Spokane, down through the Columbia River Gorge, then up along the Puget Sound coast, passing through Longview, Tacoma, Seattle, Edmonds, Everett, Mt. Vernon, Bellingham, Ferndale and all points in between.”

Look at the long-term implications of such an extensive system of coal trains.  Consider fighting this plan and lobbying for a cleaner solution.