Bad Idea: Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point

Unholy Terror of Human Caused Climate Change
posted Jan 8, 2013
Ryan Mello as clip on koala bear, fighting the Coal Trains to Bellingham, WA
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Burning coal is a TERRIBLE idea.  Selling all the coal to Asia so they can burn it up is equally a TERRIBLE idea... burning coal fucks up Everybody's air no matter where it is burned!  And it's sad to see sickly old union people stand up and say we need this coal terminal for good jobs. It was fun to see my neighbor Ryan Mello give testimony against the coal trains on TVW (hooked up the little digital TV antenna after my VCR died in the shop). Even so,  How many jobs is a habitable planet worth

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by NineInchNachos on 1/8/2013 @ 2:19am
Really awesome listening to all the tribes stand up and shout down the coal too.

by marumaruyopparai on 1/8/2013 @ 6:32am
Is habitability a viable metric of any culture's wealth or well being? Capitalist rules dictate how this game is played! Once everyone is dead, whoever has the most money in their coffers wins! If not with money, how is succe$$ measured???

by tacoma_1 on 1/8/2013 @ 7:12am
Coal trains are a lose, lose, lose proposition for T town. We'll get polluted from coal dust as the trains roll thru, we'll get the bay polluted from the inevitable coal spill, and then we'll get our air polluted when the winds brings smoky coal burning air back over from China. 

by cisserosmiley on 1/8/2013 @ 7:24am
Where do hippies get these crazy ideas? Coal dust landing on jr.'s ice cream sandwich while we all get mugged by unemployed port workers!!! WE NEED JOBS & another "boycot Arizona" won't help. 

by NineInchNachos on 1/8/2013 @ 8:00am
I stand with the tribes on this one. I'd rather have happy fish and a cool planet.

by KevinFreitas on 1/8/2013 @ 8:01am
Here's video I took of one of the first coal trains I noticed rolling along Dock Street through Tacoma in 2011:


by tacoma_1 on 1/8/2013 @ 8:17am
The only jobs that coal trains will provide Tacoma are for Oncologists, Radiologistts, Morticians, and environmental cleanup.

On the up side, the Oncologists and Radiologists are high paying jobs. On the downside, Tacoma's population and tax base will slowly disappear. 

by NineInchNachos on 1/8/2013 @ 8:22am
crusty old coal train drivers can get jobs driving the shuttle bus to the casino... or better yet drive the streetcar that's gonna go past my house!

by NineInchNachos on 1/8/2013 @ 8:29am
more links!


by KevinFreitas on 1/8/2013 @ 8:36am
What I don't understand is whey they don't cover/seal these damn things? Is that so hard to do as a solution to the dust wafting off into every town they pass through? WA state has strict laws for cars/trucks to secure their loads so why not trains?

by NineInchNachos on 1/8/2013 @ 8:50am
I thinks its cause coal dust explodes in sealed containers shaken over long periods of time?  

by NineInchNachos on 1/8/2013 @ 9:51am

via Kat Brightwell...

dig the billboards... seems they knew about human caused global warming ALL ALONG!

by cisserosmiley on 1/8/2013 @ 11:16am
I will not debate the merits of coal. Much like crude oil, natural gas, pellet fuel & burning newspaper, coal is bad to burn...and scary to understand production. Let's just admit that coal is hated by hipsters, just like AZ once was, now we're gonna make it Tacoma biz wax to yap yap about it instead doing something real. Start here: if you drive more than 1000 mile a year, BE QUIET!! If you own heavy metal containing digital tech (computer,phone) BE QUIET! If you own a dog BE QUIET! You are ruining the world & whistling past the graveyard while coal yapping. I will support this anti coal thing myself if it will raise awareness of how the "air" is also being ruined by everyday activities like driving, tech hardware, and pets.

by NineInchNachos on 1/8/2013 @ 11:29am
I don't hate coal. I love coal.  Coal is the perfect material to place a mountain top atop.

is easy to throw your arms up in despair and say "everything else is destroying the planet, may as well make some money before we all die"

it's not all or nothing switch.  that's what the conspiracy wants you to believe.  instead think of it as a journey of baby steps.  If we can resist the big coal industry it will embolden us against the big oil and blood mineral industries! 

by KevinFreitas on 1/8/2013 @ 11:55am
Makes sense re: explosive fumes if it's covered. Still, cover it and vent the gas, no the coal dust, as you go.

by JesseHillFan on 1/8/2013 @ 11:57am
The best thing to do is to dynamite all the coal mines and bury the miners alive,derail coal trains and have unrestricted submarine warfare against merchant ships and merchantmen of death transporting Coal.

by cisserosmiley on 1/8/2013 @ 12:28pm
All is not lost. In December, China resumed building nuclear power plants. They had stopped after the Japan nuclear accident, but now are building strong again. China should be independent from American coal industrialists soon enough.

by NineInchNachos on 1/8/2013 @ 1:35pm
the heat is on!

by Nick K. on 1/9/2013 @ 9:20am
Concerning the coal dust issue. It's not of grave concern out here as 90% of dust from shipment escapes in Wyoming and N. Dakota, where it is being shipped from. However, the rail lines (BNSF & Union Pacific) actually would prefer that the loads are covered as coal dust degrades the roadbed and incurs great maintenance costs. Being common carriers, rail lines are required by Federal law to provide safe, reliable transport for interstate commerce. In essence, it is the customer's responsibility for all loading and unloading concerns of whatever commodity requires transport. The rail lines just ship it. All dictated by the FRA; it's all a federal issue.

I don't think the Cherry Point facility will go through. What will most likely happen is a similar facility in Boardman, Oregon that will see coal trains trans-load onto barge traffic down the Columbia.

by cisserosmiley on 1/9/2013 @ 10:13am
So it is gonna happen in Oregon, Tacoma will still be part of global coal pollution, just not commerce?  Kind of a cute metaphor for destiny itself.

by tacoma_1 on 1/9/2013 @ 12:00pm
I don't really see how coal trains rumbling thru T town on the way to Bellingham would add to Tacoma's economy. 

by cisserosmiley on 1/9/2013 @ 12:50pm
To paraphrase Peter Callaghan, people think Tacoma is difficult to do business in & tacomanians are irrational and hard to work with. Now, WE will stand over our train tracks throwing down some dark ages "you will not pass through our land" command, and cement ourselves as totally weird. Tacoma should help railroads adhere to state & federal enviro law, but interfering with commerce should be focussed on some other offenders. 

by tacoma_1 on 1/9/2013 @ 1:08pm
Still, there is no economic benefit to coal trains in T town.  Only an imagined perception and an unproven theory that a more polluted Tacoma would be more business friendly.

I think that most business owners (except for the polluting ones) want to set up shop in clean cities.

by cisserosmiley on 1/9/2013 @ 1:35pm
We have commerce laws in place to prevent fiefdoms from springing up and placing economic hardship on surrounding people. Tacoma does not have the right to keep lawful commerce from taking place. Our continued efforts to criticize surrounding communities choices instead of concentrating on own progress is not imagined by these other communities. Tacoma should have less poverty, higher education rates, less homeless, better transit, & less crime...I lived in Bellingham for several years and this is what most of us said about Tacoma because it's factual.

by tacoma_1 on 1/9/2013 @ 1:49pm
Bellingham companies shouldn't have the right to pollute the air that I breathe, the waters that I fish, nor the ground that I walk. IMHO.

by fredo on 1/9/2013 @ 1:57pm

When a freight train passes by me I don't find myself curious about the contents of the train. I assume it  is carrying lawful freight from lawful owners en route to lawful buyers.   

by fredo on 1/9/2013 @ 2:00pm

People commuting to Seattle every day for "work" shouldn't have the right to pollute the air that I breathe. 

by JesseHillFan on 1/9/2013 @ 2:10pm
I agree long distance commuting should be outlawed or at least very heavily taxed for it.

by tacoma_1 on 1/9/2013 @ 2:17pm
I agree with JHF regarding taxation. Any form of pollution should be taxed (including commuting). The more polluting that the activity is, the greater the tax should be.

by fredo on 1/9/2013 @ 2:25pm

How about a $50 per day fee on anyone who travels between Tacoma and Seattle for employment purposes? I'm OK with that. 

by NineInchNachos on 1/9/2013 @ 2:28pm
amen! here is to curious minds and moderate resistance to pollution!  

by NineInchNachos on 1/9/2013 @ 2:29pm
$50 dollar day fee could fill a lot of budget potholes!

by tacoma_1 on 1/9/2013 @ 2:30pm
I'm actually all for a VMT tax. 

That way folks going from Seattle to Tacoma pay too. Gig harbor to Tacoma travelers also get to pay their share. Bellevue to Seattle, wherever to wherever. Etc.

I'm also ok if we weight the tax based on congestion caused. Charge more during rush hour, less when there is no traffic. Like WSDOT is doing with the tolling on 520 now. Just add in a weighted surcharge for the carbon footprint of the vehicle too.

by fredo on 1/9/2013 @ 2:47pm

Make sure the bus commuters are taxed too. The buses cause pollution in many forms. When the bus leaves Tacoma en route to Seattle the driver collects $50 from each rider.

by tacoma_1 on 1/9/2013 @ 2:52pm
Of course the bus would pay a VMT tax too. Raise the fares enough to cover the VMT. Just Base the tax on pollution and congestion caused though. Not an arbitrary number. IMHO. 

by cisserosmiley on 1/9/2013 @ 4:47pm
This story says  sec. of transportation thinks 10 years of study is needed for use based taxing. Dumb.

by NineInchNachos on 1/9/2013 @ 6:51pm
empty vehicle seat tax!

by JesseHillFan on 1/9/2013 @ 7:06pm
Wait a minute Adolf Hitler always practiced car sharing as he didn't drive.

by cisserosmiley on 1/9/2013 @ 7:28pm
That's where the old saying " as Uncle Sam says, not as Hitler does..." comes from.

by NineInchNachos on 1/14/2013 @ 7:11am
Chinese people choking to death on COAL

by cisserosmiley on 1/14/2013 @ 10:09am
How do we know it isn't the US Embassy staff & their homemade pollution monitor that is overstating poor air quality ?

by NineInchNachos on 1/14/2013 @ 10:23am
hospitals packed with children with respiratory illnesses?   

by fredo on 1/14/2013 @ 10:48am
Poor air quality is a function of overpopulation.

The earths' population explosion is causing problems not only with air quality, but also water quality, fishing stocks, global warming  etc. 

It's not the coal trains that are causing the problems. The coal trains are like the canary in the coal mine. The problem is that our leaders are not calling out people who overpopulate the earth. I just listened to the presidents press conference. He didn't mention one thing about overpopulation. If our leaders can't identify major problems we're really screwed.

And the growth management act suggests that Tacoma must begin preparing for larger urban populations. How will larger populations serve the needs of the city? I'm not clear on this at all.

by cisserosmiley on 1/14/2013 @ 11:51am
I'm not saying there is no pollution. I lived in Bangkok & Hong Kong and both smell like automobile exhaust, have grey "fug" and are obviously in need of re-thought from an enviro standpoint. I just think that using US embassy staff hacked pollution meter to discredit the Chinese air quality authority has no more validity than if the Chinese Embassy in L.A. warned America that it's democracy meter is showing oppression because of a lack of common goals between political parties...

by NineInchNachos on 1/14/2013 @ 11:53am
I think the human caused pollution will help reduce the human population.

win win? 

by NineInchNachos on 1/15/2013 @ 8:28am

by cisserosmiley on 1/15/2013 @ 9:00am
There is a new levy/revenue stream becoming popular right now - "flood control districts"  guvment luvrs create taxing districts. Popular ones are park dist., fire dist., & library dist. some genius new ones WE are paying for are conservation dist. & ...wait for it...flood control dist. I like the socialization of services, but taxing districts are SOOOO out of control look for some tweaking from the local gov. & finance committees in Olympia this session.

by troysworktable on 1/15/2013 @ 12:31pm
@cisserosmiley: Yes, the US Embassy number seems skewed.  That being said, however, the fact that Chinese newspapers are pushing back, means that it's bad.  When the Chinese Communist Party officials realize the masses are complaining and then react, there is likely something unprecedented going on.

by troysworktable on 1/15/2013 @ 12:32pm
"What's going on with our air?" read a large headline in Sunday's
editions of People's Daily, the newspaper closest to the Chinese
Communist Party.  (Los Angeles Times.)

by NineInchNachos on 1/20/2013 @ 4:24pm
good times!

by NineInchNachos on 1/20/2013 @ 6:11pm
thanks scott!

by NineInchNachos on 1/22/2013 @ 7:59pm