Unhappy with coal terminal plan

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 25, 2013 

In Gateway Pacific Terminal's "Report to the Community" last week we see an example of the "hollywoodization" of the Gateway Pacific Terminal, I believe seducing the public and omitting important truths.

The facility is advertised as a "state-of-the-art" multi-use terminal, rather than a coal terminal for the first 10 years or more. The word coal is only mentioned once. Goldman-Sachs is financing the largest coal shipping terminal in North America and Peabody Energy, the largest coal company in the world, I believe is endorsing this project to shore up profits in the U.S. market. No amount of money or photos of polished, new equipment in an antiseptically clean terminal changes the fact that coal is a dirty, dangerous business creating toxic environments. We are given the illusion that no one will see or touch a speck of coal. Not one photo shows the uncovered coal trains, traveling 1,000-plus miles from Montana through Bellingham to Ferndale, nor the 80-acre stockyard of half-mile-long, 60-feet-high coal piles uncovered in open air 24/7.

To see beyond this façade, read page 4-53 of the permit application/project information document, submitted in March 2012 by Gateway Pacific Terminal: "It is anticipated that in the first 10 years, the terminal would likely manage exports of low-sulfur, low ash coal, Canadian potash, and locally produced calcined petroleum coke."

Harold Roper

Blaine

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