The coal industry wants us to believe that coal exports are inevitable, and that supporting continued mining and burning coal is our destiny. I would argue that a beautiful community and renewable energy future is our destiny, and obsolete coal is the doom and desperation of Big Dirty Coal.
I want to be clear: I am not against trains (I often travel by passenger train)! I am, however, critical about using our rail system to haul coal to coastal ports and then load the coal and ship it off to Asian destinations.
The Port of Coos Bay is planning to build a terminal to export coal delivered via rail by trains that would snake through the Columbia Gorge and Willamette Valley before switching tracks at Eugene onto the Coos Bay Rail Link. Many other communities in the Northwest are threatened with severe health hazards as coal gets transported through communities in Oregon and Washington by rail, barge, or shipped through the Columbia River Gorge, Portland and towns north.