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Cherry Point Coal/Dry Commodities Terminal Informational Event Video

Last week the Bellingham City Club hosted an event open for community members to hear and ask questions about the proposed coal/dry commodities terminal at Cherry Point.  The room was filled to capacity, with 250 seated at tables and at least another 50 standing around.  I estimate there were somewhere between 50-100 people in line who were turned away because of fire code restrictions, not to mention those who didn't even bother to get in line but just turned away on hearing the meeting was closed, and for a meeting at 11:30 on a Wednesday no less!


The panel was made up of Craig Cole and Bob Watters representing the interests of SSA Marine to develop the site and of Bob Ferris and Matt Krogh of Re-Sources who expressed several objections to the project.  


The Bellingham City Club has posted the video of the event online, and I think it is well worth watching.  I don't know if all of the Q&A was filmed, but I took fairly extensive notes and can relay them along with my observations and perceptions.


Here is the video:


And please note that there is an event this Wednesday at the Bellingham Public Library on the terminal, and that Bellingham mayor Dan Pike will be there!

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Hi Eric!  Thanks for posting the video to the April coal meeting-

If you find a link to a video for the May 3rd coal talk at B'ham high, or for the Acme coal event, it would be great to have it posted on your discussion.


Walter Haugen letter to Cascadia Weekly is copied below-

quote: “So far, I haven’t heard anyone put the coming coal train fiasco into a peak oil context. Since I follow the price of crude oil on a daily basis, have reoriented my life to produce food with minimal fossil fuel inputs, and generally rate high on the “doomerosity scale,” I guess it is up to me to point out the distinct possibility these coal trains will not be feasible by the time the tracks and terminal are built.
Since fossil fuels are the main energy source for our civilization, the rising price of crude has the power to drive us into recession, as was proven in 2008 when the price for a barrel of crude oil ran up to $147. (Where others see only correlation, I see causation.) The price came down in 2009 when the recession reduced demand for oil. Now, as we claw our way out of recession, the price of oil has been climbing. As in 2008, there is a “tipping point” that will force us back into recession again. Vanguard Investments recently addressed this issue in a report titled “Oil’s Tipping Point.” I placed this report on the Transition Whatcom site if you want to read it. -
As Jeff Rubin put it so well in his book, Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization (2009), when the price of oil rises, transportation distance becomes more of a factor in the price of a commodity than cheap labor. Thus, the steel industry will come back to Pittsburgh and we won’t be able to get affordable blueberries from Chile. (Heavens to Betsy, we might have to eat what already grows here!) Now, as the price of oil rises to over $150, as the price of gas and diesel go up to $6 a gallon, then $7 a gallon, etc., how economical will it be to transport a raw commodity several thousand miles over the ocean? If steel will become uneconomical to import from China, how much more expensive and uneconomical will it be to export coal to China? It doesn’t pencil out.
To put things in a simplistic manner, how stupid is it to use high-priced diesel to transport coal? Up to now we have been allowed to be stupid by the cheap cost of the energy slave of petroleum. This won’t last much longer, and it is likely the coal terminal at Cherry Point will be used only for a year or two before it is shut down and a For Sale sign posted on the gate. Then BP will likely purchase the infrastructure for pennies on the dollar, but that is another story.”   Walter Haugen, Ferndale

Also David M. has a blog post with cut & pastes from other articles at-

I'll keep an eye out for a video from the event last week.  It was filmed, though I don't know who it was doing the filming.

ApexNerd from over at Latte Republic has posted video from last weeks panel at Bellingham High School.  The meeting was put on by the Sierra Club organization Coal-Free Washington and by Re-Sources, and it featured a panel of speakers including Matt Krogh from Re-Sources, Jean Melious, Mayor Dan Pike, a fisheries biologist, and a representative of the Sierra Club's Coal-free campaign.  The video is split in to two parts, each about an hour long.


Part One:

Part Two:


The Bellingham Herald wrote about the event in their blog and estimated that about 200 people were there; but apparently the Sierra Club gathered over 250 sign in signatures and Climate Solutions over 230 petition signatures, so there were probably more like 300.  I was there with a group of about ten friends, all students, and there were several other friends from school there as well.  More students are becoming interested in the Gateway Pacific project now that more information is becoming available and community dialogue is opening up.


Here is a link to the Herald Blog that covered the event, and that had a blurb today saying that terminals in BC have seen recent upswings in coal and potash exports, which seems to affirm what groups like Re-Sources have been saying: that coal companies are increasingly looking to sell internationally.


Something that really stuck with me:  The number one source of new mercury in Whatcom County.... coal burning in China.

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