I want to thank the Bellingham City Council for passing the recent resolution regarding the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point. This resolution is an important step in analyzing how the terminal will increase rail and ship traffic throughout the region and more specifically how it will affect our community. As a city we need to have a thorough understanding of how increased rail congestion will affect local businesses, parks and neighborhoods. We need to carefully judge whether a few hundred jobs is worth the impact on our health, the planet and the legacy of Bellingham as a bastion of environmental growth. This is our home, therefore it is immensely important that we understand the consequences of this terminal.
Furthermore, I believe this terminal will actually cost us jobs. I believe 18 additional coal trains will block railroad crossings for upwards of three hours a day, limiting existing business traffic and growth along the waterfront. If we wish to attract high paying long-term jobs, we need to focus on revitalizing our waterfront not supporting a coal terminal that provides little benefit to our community.