I am a blunt, straightforward person. I possess none of the oratory skills of a politician that have been acquired by long years of experience in the legislature. So please excuse me if the following offends, but I have to call the way I see it.
Let's talk about a couple of key issues that most people have heard about and which concern most people. The first issue is trust and the second issue is the survival of humankind.
Trust: The incumbent state representative received nearly 90 percent of his political contributions from corporations during 2011. Those political contributions included $400 from Pacific International Terminals, Inc. one of the coal terminal applicants.
I accept political contributions from human beings only and limit those political contributions to $100 per individual!
The incumbent received political contributions of $800 from Philip Morris USA, Inc., during 2011. Who would you trust to deal impartially with issues concerning smoking? The politician who takes money from Philip Morris USA, Inc., or would you trust the man who limits contributions to human beings in the amount of $100?
The incumbent received political contributions of $5,750 from health care and pharmaceutical corporations during 2011. Who would you trust to deal impartially with health care issues? The politician who takes money from health care and pharmaceutical corporations or would you trust the man who limits contributions to human beings in the amount of $100?
Decide for yourself. Look at the facts and then you decide. Can you trust the politician that takes money from special interests or will you trust the man who limits contributions to human beings in the amount of $100.
Survival: Global climate change is happening and it risks the survival of human kind and all life on earth. The following folks are involved in furthering those risks: Corrupt politicians, global-warming deniers, an uninformed populace, corporate media and desperate fossil fuel companies. All of these folks would risk the future of humankind and life itself on earth through continued fossil fuel burning.
The latest local threat to our future and the future of life is the six terminals (now five) which will ship coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel in existence, to China to be burned in coal-fired power plants. It's been estimated that 150 million tons annually of coal will be shipped and burned, likely in China. These projects will add unknown quantities of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere in future decades.
How is this possible? Coal companies are desperate to market their only inventory, coal, because no new coal fired plants are being allowed here in America. So they've turned their sights to Asia and have employed money, cunning, the lure of jobs and subterfuge to selling to us construction of coal terminals in the Northwest.
Folks are concerned about increased train traffic to the coal terminals, the health effects of coal dust from the coal trains, the impact on herring stocks at Cherry Point and the quality of life here in the Northwest. However, the elephant in the room is the impact on global climate change.
We're urged to respond to the scoping period for environmental impact statements, but it appears that there will be no critical analysis of the impact on global climate change from all of these projects.
Ballyhooed will be the lure of jobs, jobs, jobs. But the shortsighted labor unions that have taken that bait have failed to factor in the future loss of more American jobs to the powerhouse that is China. Because if coal-fired power plants supplied by coal from America are used to expand Chinese industry, you can bet more American jobs will be lost.
I promise to oppose the proposed coal terminals and hope that you will join with me in efforts to stop construction of all coal terminal projects here in the Northwest. We must do everything in our power to stop adding greenhouse gases to our atmosphere. We owe it to our children and grandchildren.
Who can you trust to protect our future? Can you trust the politician that takes money from special interests or can you trust the man who limits contributions to human beings in the amount of $100?
Howard Pellett is the Green Party candidate for District Washington State House of Representatives, District 40, Position 2. Each of the 49 state legislative districts is represented by one senator and two representatives who vote on state laws and budgets. State representatives are elected every two years and are paid $42,106 annually. The state representatives from the 40th District represent about 137,000 people in the southern half of Bellingham, all of San Juan County and part of Skagit County. One candidate will win election in the Nov. 6 general election.