RICHARD BADALAMENTE, Kennewick
The Herald's Dec. 2 edition reported that our area is one of the places in Washington likely to see significantly increased coal train traffic. No one's showing much interest here. Public officials aren't too worried about delays at railroad crossings. "The frustration of the average motorist might be a little higher," one official said.
Coal is the world's dirtiest energy source. It's dirty to mine, to transport, to burn and to dispose of. Burning coal is adding millions of tons of greenhouse gases, the primary driver of global warming, to the Earth's atmosphere. And we're talking about delays at railroad crossings?
U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee promoted the "Stop the War on Coal" bill that recently passed the House. It would block the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other sources, prevent rules on the storage and disposal of coal ash and limit Clean Water Act rules. Fortunately, the bill has no chance in the Senate.
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China is building new coal-fired plants. Republicans use this as an excuse not to take "unilateral" action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, that dirty coal transiting our city is being exported to China.