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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 11, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Fossil fuels and global warming

China will get its coal somewhere

The coal seam at the Spring Creek mine near Decker, Montana is 80-feet deep and is taken out in 200-feet wide increments.  The mining company is the fourth largest in the country and much of the coal is headed to the Far East through Washington, spurring debate about increased train traffic and proposed shipping terminals. [Alan Berner, The Seattle Times.]

The coal seam at the Spring Creek mine near Decker, Montana is 80-feet deep and is taken out in 200-feet wide increments. The mining company is the fourth largest in the country and much of the coal is headed to the Far East through Washington, spurring debate about increased train traffic and proposed shipping terminals. [Alan Berner, The Seattle Times.]

The letters that I read in The Times bearing on the subject of coal trains advance the proposition that not exporting coal to China will have a positive effect on stemming global warming. [“Northwest Voices: Coal terminals and air pollution,” Opinion, July 10.]

This is naive. If the United States does not ship coal to China, China will, of course, buy it from someone else. This would have zero effect on global warming, and have a negative effect on our fragile economy.

Victor Matous, Shoreline

Carbon taxes should go both ways

As The Economist so succinctly stated, “the world will one day adopt a carbon tax — but only after exhausting all the alternatives.”

It occurs to me that such a tax needs to cut two ways, taxing carbon combustion while issuing credits for “biocarbon solutions.” [“Guest column: Biocarbon solutions for the climate,” Opinion, July 10.]

If taxes would be market-based incentives to find ways to reduce carbon combustion, then tax credits could certainly be market-based incentives to develop new ways to capture and use atmospheric carbon.

Thomas Dyer, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Economy, Environment, Politics | Topics: biocarbon, carbon, carbon tax

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