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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 8, 2014 at 5:59 AM

Coal exports: Economic benefits don’t outweigh environmental impact

Shoichi Itoh’s guest column in The Seattle Times was interesting, but only lightly touched, if that, on some very important points [“The importance of Asia in the coal-export debate,” Opinion, Oct. 6].

First, U.S. investment firms are recommending against investing in companies that export coal. China is moving much more aggressively than the U.S. on climate change, and China’s carbon tax will hurt future coal power, not help it. Also, China is among the world leaders in development of alternative energy, and will utilize ever great amounts of it.

Second, coal is a dirty business, from mining to transporting to shipping to burning. This is a liability for the U.S. and the planet, and only the mining and energy companies themselves stand to gain anything from it.

Lastly, if severe climate change is to be avoided, coal power needs to be stopped.  The more people believe that we must rely on coal, the less chance we have of avoiding dramatic climate disruption.

Mike Shaw, Edmonds

Comments | More in Environment | Topics: climate change, coal, environment

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