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Thursday, August 9, 2012

From Matt Wuerker

Copyright 2012 by Matt Wuerker. Used by permission.

Comments (23)


The concept of EcoDistricts was pioneered in Portland and emerged from a partnership between the City of Portland, the Portland Development Commission and PoSI.

How does this fit in with the EcoDistrict concept and what is the Portland Sustainability Institute's position on the coal trains?

we've killed logging, most of fishing and farming, any kind of mineral extraction and now we're going to kill exports (with the help of thuggish longshoremen and democrat politicians). everyone can't pour coffee and make sandwiches for the well heeled elite, so what are people going to do for a job? Creative class?

From an environmental standpoint, it might make more sense to export natural gas to China and displace emissions over there from coal. There are tradeoffs on that idea though too.

Radio, Lars. Let's all go into radio. It's probably less useful than pouring coffee but it does allow for more creativity. Or blogging. Oh, sorry...

I can pretty much agree about logging but not fishing and farming. You're a bit off on those. Fishing is more complex and this is still a strong AG state.

Right on Lars!

I think we should start digging big holes and burying people alive. It will create jobs!

I think you're on to something there, Jack. But the buried would have to be carefully selected . . . and then there would have to be a new City of Portland bureau set up to study, oversee and tweet about it. Drear care and morality begone; they are JOBS at stake! And . . . could it possible be . . . for the children . . .

Yeah, Jack, it'll be a graveyard smash! And just think of the surge in the DJI, from that boost to Bucyrus, et al. Can you spell "pension fund recovery" boys & girls?

Welcome to LarsWorld. Watch your step.

A couple of points to consider:

Asians and Chinese are building coal plants. They're going to burn coal for power, regardless of how we may feel about it.

Powder River Basin coal is low-sulfur, low emission (lowest of any variety of coal).

We're going to get the emissions.

Would you rather have them burn our low-emission material, or dirtier, high-emission material obtained elsewhere?

"They're going to slit your child's throat. They'll pay you for the knife. They're going to get a knife from somewhere. It might as well be you."

Who has "killed" the logging? The 16ft round trees are not there anymore and as I understand each successive growth becomes smaller. Not sure about that, but nature has it's ways, no matter how we wish it were different or wish to blame others for it. Much of this is somewhat the canary in the mine, how will the fishing industry deal now with Fukashima? Many unwise decisions have been made in the past without regard to the future and here we are now, the future is starring us right in the face. . . and now NOW the blame game? I imagine some will be quick to blame environmental groups, my point being these groups are reacting to the bigger picture and not necessarily responsible for the problem in the first place. So Lars, there are times I also have a problem with environmental groups in that I view some as being too entrenched and then hypocritical in arenas. This is why I wrote earlier and asked about the Portland Sustainability Institute.

Can you honestly say that running coal trains and dust are beneficial to our community? The long range health costs alone must be factored in. I guess that would provide more jobs to treat the sickened population.

Jobs are a problem for sure, but look again to decisions made by GATT and NAFTA
that facilitated manufacturers to go elsewhere and now we the people are so backed up to the wall that we have to inhale coal dust? These matters are not so simple, but we cannot continue to have decisions made by politicians and those who are concerned about making money only who have backed us into this corner in the first place. Congress has not been our friend throughout the years that allowed our manufacturing base to leave our country, and who knows what has been transferred including patents? The people are left to argue amongst themselves. So we are frustrated with what is before us, but blaming each other? We need the career politicians to get out of the way and let those people who may have some solutions with integrity step in to give a few years service to begin taking us out of a gloomy situation if possible.
There are no doubt complexities, many issues stacked up, and again I believe others than career politicians must step in here. Politicians having others run their campaigns and winning an election does not equate for the best minds making decisions for us or to resolve and deal with these complexities.

How many people are predicting Australia's death?

'nuff said.

Let's start a full scale chinese-inspired biz ...

rickshaws !

I can see them on every corner downtown after Jeffersonian Smith out-laws cars in the central city.

Jobs Galore , just like food carts , everyone can own their own rickshaw and carry around the 49% that still have jobs.

Great comments Jack and clinamen. Since we haven't evolved much in the common sense area, maybe we'll evolve with big ears so that we can wear the dust masks and gas masks that will soon be needed if we continue down this ridiculous path.


Hey Lars, the so-called progressives have an idea. Over tax the well-to-do (I’m not one of them) so they can no longer create jobs, and then use the money to pay for more entitlement programs that likely will require an ever growing amount of funding to maintain. Instead of “it’s off to work we go”; the progressive way sounds more like “the further in debt we go”.

What’s more, it is definitely these progressive envirocrats that are killing the jobs. A test was done in Skamania County where a white sheet was laid out flat next to the RR tracks to see how much coal dust would accumulate from the coal trains already passing through. After adequate amount of time, the dirty sheet was analyzed. No significant amount of coal dust was found. Therefore, all the lip service about coal dust coming off the trains is poppycock.

The bigger issue is the possible emissions from burning coal. However, this is where the US can actually have an positive impact by requiring China to have the proper clean coal technology if the coal is to come from the US market. That way, everybody wins, more family wage jobs in the Pacific Northwest, and more coal for China. Additionally, having the US supply the coal helps the balance of trade, and at the very least, pushes back the time frame when China will surpass the US as the world’s largest industrial super power, or possibly even call in the US dept owed.

"They're going to slit your child's throat. They'll pay you for the knife. They're going to get a knife from somewhere. It might as well be you."

Sorry, Jack - that one's just over the top.

Let's go back to fact, rather than fiction:

They're going to be burning a lot of coal. Would you prefer it to be low-emission, or high emission?

I'm not arguing on the basis of supposed jobs or income - I'm talking strictly about emissions and resulting air quality.

I don't believe we have clean coal yet, and maybe never.
But I would venture US technology could find a way to control dust from transported coal, which may fuel half of all US power plants for 50 more years. Wind, solar and hydro to the extent possible. Natural gas where we can, cleaner coal where we must and Never Again on nuclear.

TR a few pics of poppycock for you:


Roll on COALumbia roll on.

Love the photos, Sheila - they provide great examples of amateur environmeddlism!

I especially like the fact that the "coal dust" is visible in some of the photos before the train ever reaches the "plume". Very impressive, if you aren't inclined to actually look.

Max, the photographer was kayaking at Horsethief Lake. I seriously doubt she went through all of the trouble that you are implying. However, her photos did stir up a whole lot of dust amongst the naysayers who replied en masse on the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission facebook page and here if you're actually inclined to look.

From the Columbia Riverkeeper facebook:
The photographer, Julie Coop, posted the following on Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission’s Facebook page after someone accused her of being an activist and photoshopping the dust into the pictures:

“I am not an activist. ...I just took some photos. I have the original memory card that proves there has been no alteration of the photos. As I said before, I was just shocked by the sight. I don’t have anything against coal miners. I’m just saying the loads should be covered so the dust doesn’t pollute the Columbia River Gorge. How can that be a bad things?”

Riverkeeper will share Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission’s Facebook post where the photographer, Julie Coop, shared her thoughts.

There are multiple examples of coal trains spilling dust, including videos, see the links below. Are these photoshopped too?

Riverkeeper emailed BNSF to ask the source and the destination of the train in Julie’s photos. BNSF has not responded. Someone suggested that the train could be carrying petroleum coke, which is a dirty fossil fuel byproduct. Whether petroleum coke or coal, both are open cars that can spew toxic dust. There is no doubt that more coal trains, and any other open-car dirty fuel source, will bring more harm to the Columbia.See More

Did I say they were photoshopped, Sheila? No? Then go back and try reading for comprehension, rather than just knee-jerking.

I especially like the fact that the "coal dust" is visible in some of the photos before the train ever reaches the "plume".

What I'm "implying" is that is that - as clearly shown in some of the photos - the atmospheric anomaly that she attributes to coal dust is present before the train ever arrives on the scene.

At no time did I state, or imply, that the photos were artificially manipulated.

Thus, your complaint - or attack - is entirely without merit. It appears that you chose to "interpret" - a malady common to environmeddlists.

It's worth noting, for the knee-jerk crowd, that the plan for Powder River Basin coal involves rail transport to Boardman (already a common occurrence, and which have never, to the best of my knowledge, given rise to any issues regarding said transport).

From there, the coal is to be offloaded into enclosed barges, pushed downriver to Port. St. Helens, and from there transferred into ocean-going ships (also enclosed). The company has signed letters of intent to purchase multi-million-dollar barges from Gunderson and another local builder, dependent upon permitting acquisition.

Wow Max, atmospheric anomoly, is that the new word for plumes coming off of trains tranporting coal or coke? My guess for your suggestion that the train ran into the plume, would be it appears that way due to the angle and distance at which the photographer took the photo.

You may not know of any issues with the transport of Powder River Basin coal through the gorge because maybe the transport occurs under cover of darkness?

My knees are fine, thanks.

Wow Max, atmospheric anomoly, is that the new word for plumes coming off of trains tranporting coal or coke?

No Sheila - you failed once again to read for comprehension: let me put this in terms that even you may be able to understand:

Ready? Read slowly and carefully:

the atmospheric anomaly is visible before the train arrives. It is clearly not, as you claim - a "plume" emanating from the train.

It seems apparent that you're an hysteric, and no amount of fact or logic is going to keep your knee from jerking.

You may not know of any issues with the transport of Powder River Basin coal through the gorge because maybe the transport occurs under cover of darkness?

That reeks of desperation and paranoia.

Why, did you know that they send out crews under cover of darkness with huge vacuums to suck away all traces of the coal plumes, just so that people like you will never find out?

Freddie's is having a sale on tin-foil.

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