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Reject plan for coal export terminals in Washington State - Mr O'Brian

Steel News - Published on Mon, 18 Jun 2012

The News Tribune reported that as coal companies want to build enormous export terminals in Washington state to ship coal through our region to Asia, while permitting such coal terminals may sound like a mere technical matter, it is not rather a decision that affects the future of region and world.

Mr Kevin J O\'Brien teaches Christian ethics and environmental ethics at Pacific Lutheran University and is a board member of Earth Ministry said “When faced with such decisions, my own faith tradition, Christianity, teaches that we should seek to love our neighbors as ourselves. We should consider the impact of our choices on other people, near and far. In fact, every traditional religious faith shares this golden rule, that we should treat others as we want to be treated.”

He said “Moreover, whether we come from a faith tradition or not, all of us embrace the idea that human beings should be treated with dignity and respect. These moral teachings should guide our choice about coal export terminals, and, I believe, guide us to reject the permitting of coal terminals in our state.”

He told “What would these terminals do to our neighbors? We can start at home. The proposed terminal at Cherry Point could send more than 3,000 coal trains through Pierce County each year. Train cars full of coal can release toxic dust containing mercury and other heavy metals that are known to increase childhood asthma rates and cause birth defects.”

He said “Coal trains are also incredibly disruptive, and a fully operational port at Cherry Point could send as many as 18 coal trains, each a mile long, rolling through DuPont, Steilacoom, University Place, Ruston, Tacoma, Puyallup and Sumner every day. We can find better and cleaner ways to use our railroads. To care for our neighbors in Pierce County, we must say no to coal export terminals.”

He added “Refusing to export coal is also the right thing for Washington. It is true that export terminals could create jobs in our port cities, but most of the wealth they produce would be sent to the shareholders of out-of-state companies. Communities along the rail lines would suffer the health, safety and economic consequences of coal trains while seeing few of the potential benefits.”

He also said “It is true that developing economies in Asia need energy sources, but we should offer tools for clean and renewable power rather than dirty fossil fuels. If we truly care for our neighbors around the world, we must say no to coal export terminals.”

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Posted By : admin on Mon, 18 Jun 2012
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