Oppose Construction of Coal Export Terminal in Washington State

Target: Whatcom County Council

Goal: Deny proposal to build Northwest coal terminal.

A plan has emerged to build the Gateway Pacific Terminal, a large shipping pier in Whatcom County, that will export coal from the Rocky Mountains. The project will result in the export of over 50 million tons of coal annually to China, the top coal-burning country in the world. The United States has worked too hard controlling its own environmental impact to turn around and enable China’s reckless polluting spree. This plan must be stopped.

The construction will not only increase coal use overseas, but will also pollute our own soil as heavy train traffic moves coal through major cities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The city of Bellingham estimates an increase of 18 trains per day passing through.

On a larger scale, providing China with the means to burn still more coal will add to the huge carbon dioxide burden our planet has already endured. And if we think the air in China is out of sight, out of mind, we can think again – pollutants from Asia reach the U.S. West Coast. The World Health Organization estimates that worldwide, the coal industry’s pollution causes over one million premature deaths every year, not to mention the incredibly adverse effects coal has on our planet’s ecosystems.

By signing the petition below, you can ask the Whatcom County Council to deny the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal.


Dear Whatcom County Council,

The recent proposal to build the Gateway Pacific Terminal has been met by much opposition in the community, and for good reason. While the project includes plans to regulate environmental impact at the terminal itself, it does not take into account the impact of heavily increased train traffic. Towns and cities in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon will take on the environmental burden of diesel fumes and coal dust as dozens of trains pass through daily.

Worse still is the fact that over 50 million tons of coal will be shipped annually to China, the top coal-burning country in the world, to add to their already dangerous levels of pollution. For the United States to work so hard to decrease our own environmental impact only to enable the worsening of China’s is oxymoronic. And those who think the pollution of China is not our problem are wrong – pollutants from Asia reach the U.S. West Coast, dumping the waste of that coal right into our own backyards. According to the World Health Organization, these very pollutants are responsible for the premature deaths of over 1 million people annually.

We are too responsible of a society to trade in the health of our people and our ecosystems for short-term financial gain. Please don’t allow the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal to pass.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: fung.leo via Flickr.

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One Comment

  1. I don’t want them in Oregon either. We don’t need more burning of fossil fuels. We need to look toward geothermal, solar, tidal, hydrogen fuel cells, and hydro-power.

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