DeFazio’s letter on coal trains

Published on April 20, 2012 by in Uncategorized

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In our last post we shared the Sustainability Commission‘s recently-approved letter to City Council opposing coal trains; in this post we’ll be talking about a letter from Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) regarding coal export in Coos Bay. The letter was originally dated January 24, 2012 but it was discussed at the Commission’s April 4 meeting. Read the entire letter here.

In summary, DeFazio’s letter is a polite request to the International Port of Coos Bay to be mindful of fugitive coal dust; to “ask [prospective rail carriers] to consider using enclosed rail cars to minimize public health impacts from coal dust;” and to enforce “stringent containment prevention methods” should the port become an export terminal.

DeFazio’s stance is commendable in his promptness to address Project Mainstay, but his letter lacks a concern for long-term economic and environmental effects on the region due to coal exports, as well as a sense of urgency in taking action on the matter. As a champion of the people, DeFazio should know that Big Coal’s corporate interests have no place in our state.

While we applaud DeFazio’s prompt acknowledgement of the issue, we hope our representative steps up his environmental advocacy in the coming months – we’ll need his support when we step up to the plate with Big Coal!

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