“Coal Hard Truth” Forum on Orcas Tomorrow

Wednesday, Feb. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Eastsound Fire Hall

From RE Source

Coal companies, seeing little future growth domestically, have a new plan: strip-mine coal in Montana and Wyoming, transport it on long coal trains through the Northwest and massive cargo ships through the Salish Sea, and sell it to Asia.  What does this mean for the San Juan Islands and the waters that surround them?

Bellingham, WA: North America’s largest coal shipping terminal could be built just 10 miles northeast of San Juan County along the Strait of Georgia.  The proposed export facility would ship an estimated 48 million tons of coal annually on the world’s biggest sea-faring cargo ships through the Salish Sea and the Straits; driving away marine life, increasing the risk of oil spills, and negatively impacting the local economy and quality of life in the San Juan Islands.

Coal is the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. Being a gateway for coal export would fly in the face of our region’s leadership in the clean energy economy.  Shipping millions of tons of coal a year to Asia through West Coast ports would spread toxic coal dust in dozens of rail communities, clog our railroads and ports, risk our families’ health, pollute our air and water, and stoke the climate crisis.

Attend a Coal Hard Truth forum to get your questions answered by expert panelists discussing the health and environmental consequences of this project proposal.  Panelists include North Sound Baykeeper Matt Krogh, Fred Felleman with Friends of the Earth, and Dr. Frank James, the Health/Medical Officer for San Juan County See Speaker Biographies below). Forums will be held on Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Island from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm on the following dates:

Lopez Island – February 7th at The Lopez Center for Community and the Arts
Orcas Island – February 8th at the Eastsound Fire Hall
San Juan Island – February 9th at Friday Harbor High School Commons

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Frank James is currently the Health Officer for San Juan County and for the Nooksack Indian Nation, the Executive Director of HonorWorks (a foundation that promotes a healthy society through the work of artists), and on the organizing committee for Whatcom Docs, a group of local physicians that are working to bring a scientific evaluation of he health impacts of the proposed coal port and coal trains on our community. (Lopez and Orcas)

Fred Felleman completed his graduate research on killer whale feeding ecology from the UW in 1986 and has since become an environmental consultant to a variety of local and national marine conservation organizations as well as local and tribal governments. He focuses on the impacts associated with maritime activities with a specialization in oil spill prevention and response efforts, and is also involved with the impacts associated with developing port infrastructure such as the cruise ship terminals at the Port of Seattle and developments at Cherry Point.

Matt Krogh is the North Sound Baykeeper at RE Sources for Sustainable Communities in Bellingham. Krogh works to prevent pollution and encourage good stewardship in the North Sound and Straits. His graduate work focused on ecological land use planning. He has co-authored a book on integrity-based decision making.

Ginny Wolf is a retired Family Practice Physician, working with the Whatcom Docs to study the research on potential human health impacts of transporting and shipping coal through our counties to Cherry Point. She also works with a group of Skagit County citizens to educate the public about why we should be concerned for our health and local economy, should this terminal be built. (San Juan only)

The North Sound Baykeeper Team is charged with protecting and enhancing the marine and nearshore habitats of the northern Puget Sound region.  The North Sound Baykeeper is a program of RE Sources for Sustainable Communities.

RE Sources for Sustainable Communities is a non-profit sustainability organization founded in 1982. RE Sources promotes sustainable communities through recycling, education, advocacy, and conservation of natural resources through a variety of programs. These programs include: the North Sound Baykeeper, an educator and advocate for the marine waters of Whatcom and Skagit Counties; The RE Store, seller and salvager of used building materials; The Sustainable Living Center, a place to gather and learn about sustainable practices; and Youth Programs in the schools, focusing on waste, air and climate change.s

For more information on these events, visit Re-Sources.org or call (360) 733-8307.

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“Coal Hard Truth” Forum on Orcas Tomorrow — 4 Comments

  1. Dear Orcas Friends,

    Please come to the “Coal Hard Truth” forum on Orcas this Wednesday, Feb. 8 from 6-8 pm at the Fire Hall in Eastsound. It’s so important that we know how the coal ports proposed for Bellingham would affect us and our waters. Thanks so much!

    Sharon Abreu

  2. Seems like the bigger issue (we already have heavy traffic in shipping lanes) is selling coal to China when we are trying to stop using it ourselves. China’s air in many places is already horrible–like LA in the 50s.

  3. I just came home from this talk on Lopez. The speakers were excellent, the issue scary and – if we are organized and band together – a victory is achievable! Please come to this talk and learn more. The impacts on the world may not surprise you but the extent and kind of impacts here at home just might. Livability, and perhaps survivability, here on the islands will be severely impacted. So, please come to this meeting to learn more. Remember: 90% of all change is just showing up.

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