The Sierra Club’s Power Past Coal campaign has launched a television ad campaign warning residents of Spokane and other eastern Washington communities about the disruptions they could face from increased coal train traffic if new West Coast coal export terminals are built.
Among the terminals proposed is Gateway Pacific Terminal at Whatcom County’s Cherry Point.
Here’s the Sierra Club’s press release on the campaign. Among other things, the campaign warns that Spokane and other communities on rail lines could experience as many as 60 additional trains passing through town each day, if all proposed coal ports and built and operating at maximum capacity.
Would all proposed terminals be built, even if they run the political and regulatory gauntlet and get permits? That’s an interesting question.
During a meeting with The Bellingham Herald’s editorial board last month, BNSF Railway Co. Matt Rose said he doesn’t think it likely that all proposed terminals will be built. He noted that a terminal once proposed in Grays Harbor has already been dropped, as The Daily World of Aberdeen has reported.
Rose said the market will probably support two or three such terminals — not five or six.
But it is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future. (A quote attributed to many people).
I was on vacation when Rose visited the Herald. Ralph Schwartz sat in and provided me with notes.