Largest Coal Terminal in North America Planned for Washington


Photo via by Paul K. Anderson

As an informed reader of this site, you may be aware that it is of the utmost importance that we humanfolk begin weaning our industrial economy off of its fossil fuel dependence. Like, asap. By spewing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere with our trademark nonchalance, we've already accelerated the warming of the planet at a rather alarming rate. Fossil fuel companies are intent to see that trend continue, however -- and that's why some of the most important battles in the environmental arena are against the conduits that would allow the continued influx of dirty, global warming-causing fossil fuels.

That's why thousands are planning on taking to the White House to protest the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline -- and it's why more and more Washingtonians and other Americans are beginning to fight back against plans to build the largest coal terminal in the entire North American continent ...To get a dose of the relevant facts about the terminal, which is currently proposed for Cherry Point in Washington state, head over to Coal Train Facts. There, you'll learn such fun tidbits like:

  • Each day, as many as 18 coal trains would shuttle coal from mines in Montana and Wyoming to Spokane, down through the Columbia River Gorge, then up along the coast ... The Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point, as proposed by Carrix/SSA Marine (partnered with Goldman Sachs), would annually export 54 million tons of goods, up to 48 million tons of which would be coal mined by Peabody Energy from the Powder River Basin

The coal will primarily be exported to China.

Now, it should be pretty clear by now that in this day and age, the last things we need are brand new facilities designed to shuttle even more fossil fuel even more efficiently all over the world. And though some would argue that well, if they don't build this terminal in Washington, China will just get its coal from somewhere else -- demand is demand, after all. But that's not really the case -- research has shown that halting this project would decrease the amount of coal China burns. Dave Roberts has a good post explaining why.

I'll end by saying that it's time to begin the arduous process of radically reorganizing the nexus of global energy production, not propping it up with dirty, expensive projects like this.

Join me in the good green fight. Follow me on Twitter, and check out The Utopianist.
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