Comment By Bob L.
Sierra Club argues that coal dust causes Train Derailments, this is the mentality of all these groups on how they use words to scare people into backing them, but yet they have no prof that this IS the cause of Derailments, I would worry more about these groups using sabotage to show people that they are right, and put Families and Kids at risk.
Look what these groups did in Cities here just recently, look at all the destruction to property trying to get what they want, who ends paying for this destruction that they do, You The Taxpayer in higher Insurance Rates, and to buy a product from these Businesses.
Our own Government uses these tactics to get what they want, and the people believe them, and this shows how much people care about this Country, but as long as these groups get away with it, we will not have any more jobs for the American people, but yet they don’t stop bringing in Foreigners from taking Americans jobs.
Until you stop these groups from Killing jobs, you will never find another good job in this Country.
Sure some of these jobs are dangerous but what job isn’t, all jobs have a risk factor one way or another, and if you let these people get to you, then you will never see a job in your future again, and with out a job how will you survive, don’t think that you will go to the Government, for get it, if you are not working, the Government won’t have the money to give you, they don’t even do it now.
Labor group says coal trains through Puyallup would be positive
of the Herald
Although the proposed Gateway Pacific export terminal in Bellingham is miles away from communities like Puyallup and Sumner, opponents are worried increased rail traffic that would take coal to port along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe route would exacerbate congestion, prevent first responders from doing their job effectively and leave behind unwanted coal dust and diesel emissions.
Lauri Hennessey, a spokesperson for the Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports, represents the views of labor groups that favor the completion of the export terminal and the positive impact it would have on the statewide economy. The alliance, a nonprofit group, was formed last summer.
“Our coalition came together to explain the benefits of doing this project,” Hennessey said. “If our state decides not to export coal, it will go through Canada. BNSF already carries coal through Canada. The Bellingham project is a chance for the U.S. to export coal and create jobs.”
The Gateway Pacific export terminal is one of three proposed terminals between Washington and Oregon. The other two are the Millennium Bulk terminal in Longview and the Port of Morrow in Oregon.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the state Department of Ecology and Whatcom County are preparing an environmental impact statement on the effects that the Gateway Pacific terminal and modifications to the BNSF Railway’s Custer Spur would pose. That follows the collection of more than 120,000 scoping comments between last November and December.
“We released the initial scoping report, and that is available online,” said Patricia Graesser, spokesperson for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Seattle district office. “That details all the 120,000 public comments received, and we’re working on how to determine what to cover in the draft (Environmental Impact Statement).”
Hennessey said the three proposed terminals would bring in an estimated 11,000 trade-dependent jobs combined, and they would include short-term construction jobs for about two years.
She said opponents who argue the export terminal operation would add an additional 18 trains per day to the BNSF tracks that run through rail towns like Puyallup and Sumner is not true.
“Train volumes through any community ebb and flow based on several factors: market demand, economic conditions and customer needs,” said Courtney Wallace, spokesperson for BNSF. “In regard to the Gateway Pacific terminal, increase in train traffic will depend on the market demand. While the facility is permitted to accommodate between one to nine loaded trains a day, it is simply too soon to know what the market demands will be when the facility opens.”
Wallace said that, in Puyallup, there are currently 50 trains that pass through daily, on average.
“We will work to ensure we provide the capacity needed to accommodate market demand with the fewest number of trains possible, which is how we have long operated the railroad, because it is more efficient to handle more volume with fewer trains,” Wallace said. “The three existing (east-west) BNSF routes through Washington have available capacity and offer flexibility in ensuring network fluidity.”
Meanwhile, the coalition to stop coal exporting in its tracks is called Power Past Coal, a consortium of more than 100 organizations, including the Sierra Club.
Krista Collard, the press secretary for the club’s Northwest region, said this attempt to build an export terminal in Bellingham is the “coal industry scrambling to find a new market.”
“Coal use is drastically down in the U.S., and the coal-mining industry is trying to find a new market,” Collard said. “They’re following in the steps of the tobacco industry. This is big coal’s last hope. They’re desperately trying to develop these terminals to ship to China and make a profit.”
Collard said if the Gateway Pacific terminal is built and operational, it would be the largest coal export terminal in North America.
“There would be 48 million tons of coal shipped annually from the terminal, which equates to 20 million additional automobiles on the roads,” Collard said. “That is eight times more than the registered vehicles in Los Angeles.”
Collard said China has forecast it will put 20 million cars on the road, and North America sending coal would only continue China’s rank as one of the most highly polluted regions in the world.
Collard said the coal industry and BNSF can’t seem to figure out how to control the coal dust.
“The coal dust gets on tracks, destabilizes the tracks and leads to increased train derailments,” she said. “A lot of realtors are concerned, because people don’t want to live next to a train track. They don’t want their property to be affected by coal dust.”
Wallace said BNSF was determining as early as 2005 how much coal dust was escaping railcars as they moved through the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana.
“Most of the coal-dust losses occurred in and close to the Powder River Basin,” Wallace said. “There is no basis to conclude that any significant amount of coal dust is lost from trains operating in the Pacific Northwest.
“In the decades we have been running coal to Canada, we are not aware of a single complaint lodged with us or a clean air agency with the state until the recent interest with coal dust.”
Wallace said BNSF established a coal loading rule in 2011 that requires shippers to properly load and treat coal cars with topper sprays to prevent coal dust.
She said there were two reported derailments in 2005 near the mines in the Powder River Basin before measures were taken to eliminate coal dust.