The Register-Guard, October 22, 2012
By Alan Zelenka and Kitty Piercy
The Eugene City Council is ready to vote on a resolution that calls for an environmental impact study and health assessment of transporting coal, and opposes shipping 10 million tons of coal through our community to Coos Bay.
We’re generally strong supporters of improved rail services in Oregon, but we’re very concerned that coal exports would worsen climate change and undermine city policies. Relying on coal exports is a risky business strategy, and the local impacts are just unacceptable.
Five other coal port projects are proposed in the Northwest. Combined, they would ship 80 million to 150 million tons of coal per year through Northwest cities. This is an enormous campaign by big coal to gain access to lucrative Asian markets, and we could end up on the short end of the stick. Big coal is after big profits at our expense.
Burning this much coal would result in carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to those from all of the gasoline used each year in the entire Western U.S. Helping this happen would be inconsistent with the energy and climate policies of Eugene and the state of Oregon.