Gov. Inslee has said that the issue of coal exports is the biggest one facing our state, from an environmental standpoint, in his lifetime. I agree, and I am grateful that his office is fully evaluating the impacts of what I believe to be a dirty and dangerous proposal. Furthermore, the Department of Ecology listened to the people. Last fall, thousands showed up to the public hearings to voice their concerns about transporting dirty coal through their local communities, an astounding 215,000 comments were gathered all in the effort to help determine the scope of threats to be studied. I applaud their efforts.
Coal is the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. Becoming a gateway for coal export would fly in the face of our region's leadership in the clean energy economy. I believe shipping up to a hundred million tons of coal a year to Asia through west coast ports would spread toxic coal dust in dozens of communities along the rail line, clog our railroads and ports, risk our families' health, pollute our air and water, and stoke the climate crisis.