Plans are being made to send trains, lots of them, carrying coal from mines in Wyoming and Montana to ports in Washington, headed to China. The argument is made that this would improve our nation's trade deficit through this export of raw materials. But it matters what we export.
The export of coal threatens our state's legacy as a leader in the fight for a clean energy future. Focusing our efforts on exporting the high technology products Washington is known for and foreign economies desire will create many more jobs than exporting coal ever could. We need jobs that focus on Washington's competitive edge as a forward-leaning state with a very high quality of life. We can improve our nation's trade deficit much more by exporting our technology and expertise around the world.
Building the largest coal export facilities on the West Coast might seem like a way to boost our struggling economy, but in reality we would see negligible economic benefits, especially when we consider the undetermined health, safety, and environmental costs to our taxpayers.
Jan Nilsson, West Richland