Twenty protestors gathered at the Eugene train yard Thursday to greet people arriving at the Union Pacific’s 150th birthday party. The demonstrators were there to show their opposition to coal trains.
A proposed export terminal in Coos Bay would send coal trains through Eugene. The demonstrators described their presence at the train yard as “quiet, positive and respectful,” with people holding signs and wearing white face masks that read “export clean air.”
Lisa Arkin, the Executive Director of Beyond Toxics, says the dangers go beyond commonly cited risks such as cancer, black lung, and emphysema.
Lisa Arkin: We can talk about safety, we can talk about public health, we can talk about the issues of staying on fossil fuel, non-renewable energy sources, we can talk about the issues of global warming. We can talk about angry people. (Laughter).
She’s referring to people driving out of the train yard’s gravel parking lot, who appear to be intentionally blowing up dust at the protestors.
The City Council votes on a resolution opposing coal transportation on Monday.