Target: Louisiana State Governor Bobby Jindal
Goal: Do not move forward with construction of proposed coal export station in Plaquemines Parish
Delaware-based company RAM Terminal, LLC has recently applied for a coastal-use permit in order to construct a new coal export facility along the Mississippi River in Louisiana’s Plaquemines Parish. The functions of the proposed facility would encompass unloading coal from barges and trains, storing coal, blending the product together, and transferring coal to ocean vessels for exportation. Many residents of the area, as well as some local representatives, strongly oppose the new coal export facility, expressing concern for potential harmful effects the development may have on the environment and humans.
The proposed space for the new coal export facility spans over 600 acres along the Mississippi River. The amount of land that would be developed in order to simply construct the facility would result in massive amounts of river wetlands being destroyed. In addition, because coal is by nature a dirty product, many residents of the area fear potential effects such as increased coal dust, spillage into surrounding areas, and other pollution. Plaquemines Parish Councilman Burghart Turner stated that he is “definitely in opposition to this terminal.” He went on to assert that he is “not… anti-business, but this is dirt business.”
At a recent meeting regarding the project, environmental groups expressed concern over the treatment of coal at the proposed site. They suggested that, as the United States lessens its use of coal as a primary energy source, the coal processed at this plant would likely be exported to countries such as China, India, Japan, Taiwan and Turkey, which often have lower coal-burning standards. In this way, the coal stored, processed and transported at this particular site will indirectly have a negative impact on global climate change.
Other coal facilities in the area contend that they have had very little spillage in the area. Furthermore, they assert that they have “never had coal runoff get into the river,” and the amount that has spread off-site has “always been cleaned … up very well.” However, any amount of coal that spreads to the surrounding area is too much. It pollutes the natural wetlands in the area and poses health risks, including respiratory diseases, for people who reside nearby. Demand that construction of this proposed coal export terminal be stopped.
Dear Governor Bobby Jindal,
A recently proposed coal export facility in Plaquemines Parish poses great risks to the surrounding community. The new development would span a massive 600 acres along the Mississippi River, ensuring the destruction of huge areas of natural river wetlands during the construction of the facility. Furthermore, potential coal pollution, both in the air and on the ground, that would likely result from this coal export facility poses serious environmental and health risks for nearby residents.
Because of the United States’ departure from coal as a main energy source, the coal stored and processed at this terminal would most likely be exported to other countries that tend to have lower standards in terms of burning coal. In this way, the coal export facility would be negatively contributing to global climate change.
Not only does this facility threaten the immediate, surrounding area, as well as the communities nearby, but it also has the potential to create harm on a global scale in terms of climate change. Therefore, I strongly urge you to stop construction of the coal export facility in Plaquemines Parish.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Arnold Paul via Wikimedia Commons