Eastside Audubon Takes a Stand Against Coal Transport
The Eastside Audubon Conservation Committee has been writing letters and attending public events to argue against proposals to use the Puget Sound region as a corridor for transporting coal en route to Asia.
Letters and Demonstrations
EAS President Andy McCormick recently signed letters addressed to Puget Sound Energy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Washington Department of Ecology concerning the hazards of continued dependence on coal as an energy source.
President Andy McCormick, Conservation Chair Pete Marshall, and Conservation Committee member Linda Sue Thompsen attended the huge "Power Past Coal" rally and public hearing at the convention center in Seattle on December 13. Several thousand people were there, including others from Eastside Audubon. The clear majority opposed additional coal trains through Seattle, where coal exporters would hope to accommodate rail transport from mines in Montana and Wyoming to a new export terminal near Bellingham.
Asia is Local
The Conservation Committee has been keenly interested in these issues in 2012, even though the physical space directly affected is not literally east of Lake Washington. (Not yet anyway, but keep alert to somebody proposing an east side alternative route for the trains!)
Clearly, we all stand to be affected in a major way by the larger environmental impacts of transporting coal along the Columbia River and northward along Puget Sound rail routes, and ultimately burning it in Asia. Attendees at Eastside Audubon's November open house agreed that this is an environmental issue EAS should try to influence.