Grist | A Beacon in the Smog, December 20, 2012
By Claire Thompson
Last Thursday, I braved the hordes crowding Seattle’s convention center to offer their opinions on a proposed coal-export terminal, proposed for construction just north of Bellingham, Wash., that would ship coal arriving on trains from the Powder River Basin overseas to Asia. Buzz about this event — a public hearing intended to gather input on what should be studied for the project’s environmental impact statement — had been building for weeks. Turnout at previous hearings in other towns exceeded expectations (over 450 people showed up in Friday Harbor, the seat of a rural island county with a population of less than 16,000), prompting organizers to reschedule the Seattle hearing so it could be held at a convention center ballroom with a 2,000-person capacity, instead of a community college.