I am not surprised to learn that The Sierra Club and other groups are filing suit against Burlington Northern-Sante Fe and Gateway Pacific Terminal among other coal proponents that I believe are sugar-coating their greed by the weak promise of "Good Jobs Now."
Last year, GPT promised 1,500 new permanent jobs at its terminal at Cherry Point. Now, the latest offering is 200 at the very most. Whatcom County is home to 200,000 residents, some 100,000 living in Bellingham alone. Two hundred jobs wouldn't even make a dent in our local rate of unemployment, especially if it threatens other existing jobs, such as those of emergency crews stuck waiting for 18 addition trains coming and going round the clock! I wonder how coal supporters would feel about the loss of loved ones because emergency crews couldn't respond in time from being stuck waiting at the railroad tracks?
The lawsuit chiefly addresses the noted spillage of coal onto our tracks from existing trains headed for British Columbia northbound from Seattle. Many of us protesting this economically as well as environmentally disastrous proposal predicted it surely would. President Obama has declared the San Juan Islands a protected national monument. Gov. Jay Inslee and the governor of Oregon are stressing the need for clean energy, not coal. How much more proof do these corporate sugar-coaters need?