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Seattle Times letters to the editor

Topic: coal

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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….


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

June 7, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Climate change: can’t afford inaction; China and India will continue to pollute

We can’t afford inaction

Carbon dioxide is a major contributor to climate change. which affects weather, including superstorms, droughts and wildfires [“Obama’s coal plan catches up with climate policy in Olympia,” Opinion, June 4]. We, in Washington state, are vulnerable to all of these effects. The EPA regulation of power plants is a major effort to address climate change because power plants are among the largest sources of carbon pollution.

Because emissions of carbon dioxide are “free” under current economic systems, they have been dumping unlimited carbon pollution without regard to the costs. Washington is starting to address this issue by shutting down coal burning at the Centralia power plant.

But we cannot address it alone. We also receive coal-generated electricity from Montana, and addressing climate change requires a nationwide control of carbon emissions.

Costs of inaction are not something that Washington can afford. Impacts such as forest fires and acidification of the ocean are already costly, and the snowpack will likely decline to the point that agriculture will be severely affected.

William McPherson, Seattle

China and India will continue to pollute

President Obama’s proposed EPA coal power plant reduction policies are


Comments | More in Climate change | Topics: Centralia, climate change, coal

June 6, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Obama’s coal-reduction plan: Praise to the president for taking action

Many, many thanks are due to President Obama for having the courage to propose new rules limiting carbon emissions from U.S. power plants [“Obama’s coal plan catches up with climate policy in Olympia,” Opinion, June 4]. When Congress does little or nothing about climate change, at least our president takes action. Emissions from power…


Comments | More in Climate change | Topics: climate change, coal, Mike Shaw

May 18, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Climate change: Inslee is leading by an example that Republicans should follow

The Seattle Times recently published a story on how U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., was upset that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee passed an executive order to lessen greenhouse gas emissions [“Montana lawmaker criticizes Washington’s coal-power plan,” Local News, May 12]. This would hurt Montana and Wyoming’s economy because 13 percent of Washington’s energy…


Comments | More in Climate change | Topics: climate change, coal, Gov. Jay Inslee

May 9, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Climate change: Fracking domestically has a big environmental impact

Steaming water, discharged from a coal-to-gas plant in Inner Mongolia, spreads out over the landscape. (Courtesy of Zhu Ye / Special to The Seattle Times)

I am writing in response to the article in The Times “China’s coal plants guzzle scarce water” [News, May 4]. The article states, “When operating at full capacity, the Datang International plant will require more than 7 billion gallons of water each year.” Any outrage expressed by our country toward China for this water waste is drastically misplaced.

Our country’s own fracking industry dwarfs China in water usage. Fracking, as many know, is


Comments | More in Climate change | Topics: climate change, CO2, coal

May 8, 2014 at 6:51 AM

Climate change: Coal use and ocean acidification in the spotlight

This coal-to-gas plant built by Datang International is the first of its kind in Inner Mongolia. It creates methane that can be piped to Beijing, where it can be used as a cleaner burning fuel to reduce air pollution. But the plant itself can send out quite a stench. (Hal Bernton / The Seattle Times)

Coal use doesn’t need to be fatalistic

The energy investments of the fast-growing Asian economies are do-or-die decisions for the global climate [“China’s coal solution has carbon downside across globe,” News, May 4]. This is why our local battle against coal exports is so vital.

Shoveling cheap coal to Asia increases the economic incentives to continue building more coal plants, “locking in” carbon emissions that wreak climate havoc on all of us.

In China, as in the U.S., there is a robust debate about the energy future, and momentum is building for a clean energy revolution, powered by efficient use of carbon-free energy sources. But The Seattle Times’ article ends with a fatalistic prognosis from a coal-mining executive in China: “I firmly believe that coal is going to be the main generating source of energy at least for the next 50 years.”

Well, of course he does; he represents the coal industry. It’s a bit like ending an article on the future of honey by asking a bee whether honey is a good idea.

K.C. Golden, senior policy adviser at Climate Solutions, Seattle

Climate change deserves to be front-page news

The Seattle Times’ front-page news on ocean acidification was both a relief and a source of


Comments | More in Climate change | Topics: climate change, coal, K.C. Golden

December 21, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Build export terminals, but not for coal

I spent 40 years in the maritime industry. I worked in San Francisco, Oakland, Portland and Seattle for a steamship company. I spent eight years working for a stevedoring company in Seattle. And I worked for 20 years as a maritime consultant and expert witness. I also served as chairman of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber…


Comments | More in Coal terminal | Topics: coal, Seattle

November 25, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Bury nuclear waste in Montana and North Dakota coal mines

A modest win-win proposal

Brian M. Rosenthal’s report about former Attorney General Rob McKenna’s lobbying gig on behalf of Montana and North Dakota coal interests raises several issues [On behalf of North Dakota and Montana, McKenna calls Washington coal study unconstitutional,” Online, Nov. 21].

It’s a modest win-win proposal that might help the coal dust, acid rain and diesel particulates go down a little easier on the Washington state end of the business and help avoid infringing on the rights of Montana and North Dakota citizens to mine and move their coal.


Comments | More in Environment | Topics: coal, environment, Hanford

September 20, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Sea Change

Quit coal This coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Montana is mainly owned by Puget Sound Energy. [Alan Berner, The Seattle Times.] Bravo for your excellent series on the causes and costs of ocean acidification. [“Sea Change,” page one, Sept. 15-17.] It is a tragedy of unimaginable scope. The carbon dioxide responsible for this disaster is created by…


Comments | More in Economy, Environment | Topics: acidification, carbon dioxide, coal

September 3, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Ignore promises of jobs for coal, crude oil exports

Widespread damage will result The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point, and the coal trains it would bring, have been an issue of hot debate among Washingtonians. [Alan Berner, The Seattle Times.] Proponents of inundating Washington with coal and crude-oil exports are currently spending tens of millions of dollars on a sophisticated public-relations offensive, promising jobs…


Comments | More in Environment, Politics, Seattle | Topics: coal, crude oil, environment

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