According to an article on Common Dreams by Jacob Chamberlain, the Obama Administration has offered $8 billion to subsidize fossil fuels on one hand, while on the other hand announcing new regulatory approaches in attempt to reduce pollution.
Last week I had the fortune to attend a hearing for the purpose of determining the scope of analysis for environmental impacts for a bulk coal export terminal proposed for Longview Washington. The MBTL (Millenium Bulk Terminal Longview) would be capable of annually moving as much as 44 million tonnes.
There were two separate afternoon and evening sessions. In the afternoon, the US Army Corps of Engineers heard testimony relating to National Environmental Protection Act. In the evening, the Washington State Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County heard comments relating to State and Local environmental protections. Comments came in from all sides, pro-coal/pro-export, and vice-versa.
What struck me at the end of the three hours, besides the frustration of having a losing ticket (in fact there were no numbers called in the 0700 range (were they lost?) —there were other suspect aspects of how the numbers came up (more than once 3 in clusters within the same ten digits...), Was that no one mentioned the utter absurdity of having to fight against a coal export terminal — when the danger of increased pollution is so great — and technology to transition away from fossil fuels, toward clean sustainable energy, has never been so advanced (though this transition should have begun decades ago.) The need to phase out fossil fuels is urgent, and will only grow in urgency, as the effects of massive consumption begin to evince themselves on the atmosphere and ocean more and more.
I used a community television camcorder to record most of the testimony, as well as the rally, and I plan to edit a piece for the station. I think there's need for community documentary of the effort to protect Mother Earth and oppose any expansion of infrastructure to further wreckless exploitation of fossil fuel resources.
In October, on Thursday the 17th, there will be the final in the series of five scoping hearings. It will be interesting to see the differences between the first hearing in Longview, and the fifth and final hearing. It will be in Tacoma, at the Tacoma Convention Center, 1500 Broadway.
This sign may have been left in the bathroom, did someone lose their support for coal exports? pic.twitter.com/Q9FZB811kR— Robert F.W. Whitlock (@berdww) September 18, 2013