Big Coal is looking to Bellingham to export Powder River Basin coal to emerging markets in Asia and India. Peabody Coal wants to export at least 24 million tons of coal per year from Cherry Point, with the potential to ramp up to twice that amount. This means five to ten coal trains a day —operations that will spewing toxic coal dust--not to mention causing congestion, noise, and emissions-- in Bellingham and every community along the route from the minehead in Wyoming. This pyramid of pollution culminates with the release of an additional 50 to 100 million tons of CO2 once this coal is burned.route, and further stoke the climate crisis by promoting dirty coal energy.
Speakers at the forum included representatives from Transition Fidalgo, Climate Solutions and the “Whatcom Docs” (a group of over 150 doctors opposed to the terminal). The crowd was thoughtful and engaged throughout, and they drown out a few attempts at heckling by a few pro-industry attendees. “I am continually amazed at the level of community engagement on this issue,” said Robin Everett, Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal organizer in the state, “This is a great start to our campaign to stop coal exports in Washington and build a state-wide movement.”
The Coal Hard Truth Forum forum gained media attention across a variety of outlets, including National Public Radio, the Skagit Herald, KVOS TV, and the Associated Press.