Letters to the Editor

Coal trains a health risk for all state residents

A massive planned expansion of dirty coal, mined from Montana, Wyoming, and Washington state, and shipped to Asia through five proposed northwest ports will threaten our ecosystem.

Coal is the dirtiest, most destructive, and most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. Its extraction, and shipment across our state by train, will impact the environment, our water, and our health. If Washington State becomes a gateway for coal export, the shipping of up to 100 million tons of coal a year to Asia 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. Coal dust, with its mercury, arsenic and lead, is never removed from inside lungs, once there, and is linked to more and worsening lung disease, cancers, asthma, neurological disorders. This means more suffering and bigger medical costs. These coal export trains proposed would cause a range of health issues for Washington citizens.

“Washington has a choice,” says Jan Hasselman, an attorney in EarthJustice’s Northwest office, “We can either be part of the clean energy future and economy, or we can be the export hub in the United States for dirty coal to China.”

Learn more at www.coalfreewashington.org.

Kristin Lockwood

North Bend


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