- Jarred Figlar-Barnes
- Elma, WA
- United States
Exporting Our Oil & Coal.
I live in Grays Harbor in Washington State. Here we are facing a tough decision; Whether our Port, the Port of Grays Harbor should expand to exporting Oil and Coal.
The port and entire region has been deeply effected by the recession and even before that the slow decline of the timber industry. The port however has one key advantage, its one full day closer to the ocean than any ports in the Puget Sound. In the past 6 years the port has expanded exponentially, shipping out cars from Detroit, corn and soybeans from the Midwest and ethanol and biodiesel from two local upstart companies. Lumber of coarse is still a major export.
Westway Terminals wants to build 4 new 200,000 barrel capacity tanks to store the Crude oil before shipping. Grays Harbor Rail Terminal LLC wants to use Terminal Three (where the proposed coal facility would be) to export oil as well, the terminal is next to the Bowerman Basin National Wildlife Refuge. For now the coal export facility has been abandoned due to local opposition. I’ll list the pros and cons, please tell me what you think.
Millions of dollars in tax revenue for the port and the city of Hoquiam.
Improved infrastructure required for new export facility’s.
Millions in income for the Puget Sound & Pacific Railroad.
About 30-50 local jobs and another 50 in temporary construction jobs.
Major repairs that are needed on two 100 year old railroad bridges would be done.
Increase rail traffic to a heavily used line,( Possibly 4-5 mile and a half long trains in and out each day).
Blockage of major roads daily to unload oil.
Potential for spills in harbor, currently there are no means to contain a spill of that possible magnitude.
Exporting a domestic product to overseas markets.
Impact of a spill on the local fishing and shellfish industry.
I could say more but I do believe I am running out of space, so should we be exporting our oil and coal? Should we even be using these fuels? I say no to both, what do you think?