There is a growing coalition of voices either concerned or opposed to the use of West Coast ports for exporting coal.
Coal export threatens our health and quality of life:
The wide ranging health dangers of coal dust include exposure to toxic heavy metals like mercury and increased rates of asthma, especially in children. Coal dust and diesel exhaust from coal trains and cargo ships can cause serious long-term health problems like lung and heart disease and would hurt our health and pollute our clean air and water.
Exporting coal to Asian nations encourages them to burn more dirty coal and prolongs the world’s transition to cleaner alternatives. The result would be more global warming pollution, resulting in more forest fires, more flooding and lost agriculture, forestry and fishery revenues. More coal burning in Asia would mean more toxic pollution travelling across the Pacific to contaminate rivers, lakes and fish.
Big coal companies put profit before people:
Coal companies have deep pockets and a long track record of using their power and influence to get what they want. Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company, and Arch Coal are routinely fined for violating worker health and safety and environmental standards. These companies are not good neighbors and would put profit before people to protect their bottom line.
We can do better:
Coal companies stand to make huge profits. We can do better than coal export to build our states’ economies. We have long and proud histories of economic innovation, and already support thousands of high-tech and clean energy jobs. We should focus on building those industries – not supporting old industries like dirty coal.