Cut our Losses; Abandon the Gateway Pacific Terminal
Posted on June 15, 2012 | By wally | 2 responses
It is about time we just cut our losses and abandon the fight for a Coal Port at Cherry Point. In my opinion we have reached a point where there are so many reasons not to have the Gateway Pacific Terminal/SSA Marine Port, that continuing the fight, which is really fight between coal fired conglomerates and the Sierra Club, will only create a big lose lose situation regardless of who wins the fight.
Reasons not to have the Gateway Pacific Terminal/SSA Marine Port.
- Our coal reserve is of strategic importance.
- Coal is a raw material that we should be using to create value added items for export so the import/export balance shifts in the right direction for US companies
- Exporting coal helps China to produce goods for us to import which shifts the import/export balance in the wrong direction.
- Additional shipping terminal, whether coal or not coal will have an additional negative impact on the environment. How much or how little will be mitigated doesn’t change the fact that there will be some negative impact.
- Health risks due to the transport and storage of coal in Whatcom County and beyond.
- Coal trains are a visually ugly blight on the look and feel of Bellingham.
- Coal trains will add to much noise to the local environment
- Taxpayers will be stuck with the financial impact of transportation upgrades due all aspects of the port.
- Cancer rates in Whatcom will go up.
- Long wait times at rail crossings will adversely effect business.
- Continued advancement of corporate greed and rule over the American people
- Wetlands destroyed/not fully mitigated
- Wildlife suffering
- Global warming/Global climate change due to coal burning
Whether you agree with the reasons or not, they are still positions that are held by some in the community so even if they might not be legal or real to you or I, they are fit for the argument because they are real to those who believe them. This is especially so in the court of public opinion, which is currently where the coal port battle is being waged. This is not to say that there aren’t good arguments for the Coal Port such as jobs, tax revenue, and just plain standing up for property rights. After all, in America if someone owns property and they are using it in a legal manner, then they have the right to do so. However in America you also have the legal right to step off a curb into the crosswalk when the Walk signal appears, but doing so in front of a red-light running MAC truck is still stupid. You can make a stand for what is right, but the game always ends the same way, MAC truck 1 – Pedestrian 0
The Sierra Club is that red-light running MAC truck with a no coal goal and they don’t seem to care what laws are broken and who is run over as long as the coal is left in the ground. And like the MAC truck, it seems the Sierra club doesn’t lose.
- Power4Georgians Cancels Plans for Ben Hill Coal Plant in Georgia
- Mississippi: State Supreme Court Remands Permit for Kemper Coal Plant
- LS Power Abandons Plans for Longleaf Coal Plant in Georgia
- Michigan: Consumers Energy Abandons Plans for Coal Plant in Bay City
- Proposed Ohio Coal-to-Liquid Refinery Dead
- Minnesota: Public Utilities Commission Cancels Plans to Convert Steam Boiler to Coal
- Arkansas: Eighth Circuit Upholds Preliminary Injunction Against Turk Coal Plant
- Georgia: Court Remands Air Permit for Longleaf Coal Plant
- West Virginia Air Quality Board Remands Air Permit for Coal-to-Liquids Plant
- 150! Plans for 150 New Coal Plants Scrapped: Transition to Clean Energy Picks Up Steam
- Georgia Judge Rejects Air Permit for Proposed Coal Plant in Washington County
- Texas: Fifth Circuit Rules Sandy Creek Coal Plant is Violating the Clean Air Act
- East Kentucky Power Cooperative Agrees to Halt Plans for Smith Coal Plants
- Arkansas: Federal Judge Orders SWEPCO to Stop Construction on Turk Coal Plant Site
- ODEC Delays Plans to Build Massive Coal Plant in Virginia
- Michigan Denies Air Permit for Holland’s Proposed Coal Plant
- Kentucky Sends Cash Creek Water Permit Back to Drawing Board
- Michigan Denies Air Permit for Wolverine’s Proposed Coal Plant
- Arkansas Supreme Court Invalidates Permit for Turk Plant
- Toquop Coal Plant Abandoned in Favor of Cleaner Natural Gas and Solar in Nevada!
- NRG Officially Abandons its Plans to Expand the Big Cajun II Plant in Louisiana!
- Seminole Electric Cooperative Abandons Plans for Massive Coal-Fired Power Plant
- Eastman Chemical Co. Drops Plans for Coal Gasification Plant in Texas
- AMP Abandons Proposed AMP Generating Station in Meigs County, Ohio!
- Utilities Pull Plug on Big Stone II Coal Plant Project
- EPA Remands Air Permit for Desert Rock Plant
- Otter Tail Pulls Out of Big Stone II Coal Plant Project
- Michigan Public Service Commission Rules State does not Need New Coal-Fired Power
- South Carolina: Santee Cooper Cancels Plans for 600 MW Power Plant
- 100th Coal Plant Defeated!
- Arkansas Appeals Court Rejects Permit for Turk Plant
- LS Power Cancels Plan to Build 750 MW Coal Plant in Michigan
- EPA Seeks Remand of Desert Rock Power Plant Permit
- Louisiana: Entergy Puts Little Gypsy Project on Hold for At Least Three Years
- Iowa: Alliant Energy Drops Plans to Build Marshalltown Coal-Fired Plant
- Nevada: LS Power “Indefinitely Postpones” the White Pine Energy Station!
- Northern Michigan University’s Air Permit is Remanded Back to MDEQ to Consider CO2 Emissions
- Oklahoma: Shady Point II Plant Dropped. Two is too many!
- Nevada: Ely Energy Center “indefinitely postponed”!
- Montana: Southern Montana Electric Opts for Clean Energy, Abandons Highwood Coal Plant
- Wisconsin: Climate and Costs Force Commission to Deny Plants’ Documents
- Illinois: Sierra Club Wins Long Fight Against EnviroPower Plant!
- Oklahoma: Another Plant Loses in Court
- Georgia: Judge Rules Coal Plant Must Regulate Global Warming Emissions
- Kansas: Yet Another Major Victory Against Holcomb Coal Plant
- North Dakota: Company Suspends Efforts to Build Gascoyne 500 Coal Plant
- Missouri: Proposed Norborne Plant Put on Hold
- Utah and Wyoming: PacifiCorp Pulls the Plug on Western Coal Plants
- Washington: Proposed Coal Plant Put on Hold
- Iowa: Sate Regulators Rule Against Coal Plant Application
- Oklahoma: State Regulators Rule Against Coal Plant Application
- Arizona: Community Succeeds in Preventing New Coal Plant
- Florida: Another One Bites the Dust
- Kentucky: Court Says No to Peabody Coal
- Florida: On a Roll Against Coal
- Florida: In Landmark Decision, Florida Pulls the Plug on Massive Coal-Fired Plant Proposal
- Missouri: Sierra Club and Utility Agree to Landmark Global Warming Plan
- Texas: TXU Cancels Plans for 8 of 11 Proposed Coal-Fired Plants
- Illinois: Major Clean Air Victory in Chicago
- Illinois: Historic Settlement with Springfield Utility
- Michigan: Community Succeeds in Keeping Polluting Coal Plant Out
Because we live in a world currently powered primarily by fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil, and because a good portion of the suppliers of crude oil are unstable and openly hostile towards our nation, I consider all U.S. fossil fuels to be strategic reserves. If and/or when the Middle East becomes too unstable or radioactive to supply us with oil, I for one, would like to still be sitting on a large pile of coal. Our national leaders haven’t come to this realization yet, and started addressing it with legislation, but they will. I am firmly opposed to this Coal Port proposal because the primary customer for the coal is not within our nation, it is China. Run a coal train right out to Cherry Point on their way to Alaska, Oregon, California and I’ll happy wave to them as they rumble by, but don’t ship US coal to a foreign nation.
I’m not opposed though to burning fossil fuels of all types, however I’d be stupid, as would anyone, to turn a blind eye to the Sierra Club’s record in opposition to coal and other fossil fuels. Given their record who would bet against them? Perhaps someone with a lot of money? Maybe, but even money won’t guarantee a Coal Port when Sierra Club, with plenty of financial and government support, has been placing even more emphasis on coal over the last few years.
But what if the unimaginable happens and Coal Port proponents do manage to squeak out a victory? Well it would have come at a large financial cost to Whatcom County and Bellingham. The battles would have also created a much stronger, more motivated, more cohesive green socialist group in the Bellingham area and in spite of the Coal Port being built, the anti-coal groups will likely have used anti-coal sentiments to help pass things like the Bellingham Community Bill of Rights and more stringent land use regulations. We’d have a coal port, but also a much more greatly divide social climate and a much more unfriendly business environment.
There isn’t a win anywhere in the future so it is time to take a hard pragmatic look at the lose-lose situation and cut our losses. Time to have the County Council just say no to the port and all the expenses involved with the battle.