I believe the argument for coal export in a letter of Aug. 8 is no more than self-interested cheerleading masquerading as serious commentary. No one wants to deny jobs to railroad operators, but their lobbyist accuses everyone, including the governor, of having no other aim but this. He disregards the health issues, noise, shipping hazards, overpass expense, diminished property values, traffic disruption, etc., which Whatcom county and all counties along the route will have to bear. These are the real issues. And yes, jobs as well, including those that will be lost when access to our port gets cut off, or when non-rail commerce comes to a halt 18 times a day as a coal train cuts through Spokane and two dozen other cities.
The letter complains that since the airline industry pollutes, the proposed terminal and its feeder railroad should also be allowed to pollute. Just think about this for a moment. Didn't we give up this kind of whining when we graduated from junior high?
The coal lobbyists are losing influence and they know it. But since they can offer no clear reasons to support what they want, they will throw more and more of the same nonsense at us, hoping that if we hear it again and again we will believe it. But contrary to what the letter says, the polls have in fact swung around to opposition, and hopefully will stay that way.