There is a current proposal for a coal terminal to be built at Cherry Point just north of Bellingham, Washington. The proposed terminal would export over 50 million tons of coal each year to developing nations in Asia, mainly China and India who are experiencing rapid economoic growth. This coal terminal would be built on the shore of a protected and sensitive marine ecosystem. The building of this coal terminal will require the removal and adverse destruction of wetlands and natural habitat. It will provide short term economic benefits with long term social ecologic costs that will be felt world wide. Global Climate Change is affecting every arc of the Earth. Shifting temperatures affected by natural and human factors are modifying habitat and changing Earth's atmosphere. If this terminal is approved, the United States will be directly responsible for significant increases in the developing world's greenhouse gas emissions. By supplying these rapidly developing economies with a readilly available cheap fuel source, coal, their economies will be encouraged to invest in coal powered electrical plants that have incredibly high investment costs and very low operating costs as well as an extremely long lifetime. As citizens of the Earth, we cannot allow developing nations rely on this filthy fossil fuel that degrades our planet. In 2004, U.S. coal-fired power plants produced 2,154.6 million tons of CO2 – 35.8% of total U.S. CO2 emissions, and 8.0% of total world CO2 emissions. At the height of our coal consumption in 1988, CO2 emissions from coal-fired electricity plants were over 58% of U.S. CO2 emissions. Each ton of coal burned emits 2.86 tons of CO2. Exporting 50 million tons of coal would add 143,000,000 tons of CO2 to the atmosphere each year. Encouraging and providing dirty energy is not sustainable. We must mitigate development, consumption, and pollution. We must make sure there is a viable planet for future generations. This coal terminal must NOT be approved. It is a local project with global impacts.
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