The Power Past Coal Coalition, a coalition of more than 50 organizations, including the Sierra Club, Climate Solutions, Spokane Riverkeeper and The Lands Council, is sponsoring the event to inform the public of coal export proposals in Washington that would have local impacts on Spokane County.
The event takes place this Thursday, October 27th 2011, 5:30 to 8 p.m at The Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln Street, Spokane, WA, 99201.
Washington has made major strides in ending our reliance on coal by setting a date to move our last coal-fired power plant—TransAlta—off of coal. In what would be a giant step backward, coal companies are now threatening to export tens of millions of tons of coal through the Pacific Northwest to foreign markets.
The coal export terminals proposed in Cherry Point, Gray’s Harbor, and Longview, Washington would draw 50 or more coal trains through communities in Spokane County each more than 1.5 miles long. Local residents are concerned about the health, safety, and economic impacts of these projects, including: diesel pollution and coal dust from many open trains, pollutants which are linked to asthma and lung cancer; the high risk of coal train derailments; noise and property devaluation; and coal trains creating more traffic, blocking emergency vehicles, and limiting access to neighborhoods and businesses.