Letters to the Editor

Believes costs outweigh benefits of coal port

In an invitation-only meeting hosted by pro-business groups, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen cited median wage figures for 2012, pointing out that Whatcom County residents made 87 percent of the statewide median wage.

Only sure way to have wage parity with Seattle? Move to Seattle with the exorbitant rents, congestion and overall lower quality of life.

Conspicuously absent in this mantra: the trade-offs, the cost-assessment to the residents by corporate ‘externalities,’ or privatization of the profit and socialization of the damages. Indirect asymmetrical, often intangible, long-term costs that the local government and by extension the residents are forced to absorb: Damage to the environment, the quality of life, respiratory health and safety including the inevitable derailments, etc.

The sacred deal closer: jobs.

“The coal terminal...would create 1,251 total jobs, according to SSA Marine’s own study.”

Yet, SSA’s own study in 2011 said, “By 2017, the SSA authored document says, the full-time work force would be 160.” almost 10 percent of the above.

The moderator of the panel concluded. “If we want to lead in this community...”

If the “we” means the pro-business groups, then indeed, we have to speak out and bring the adults to the table against Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Michael Kominsky