Eric de Place
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Feb 14, 2013 Eric de Place commented on Roses Aren't Green.
Let's do some context here.

That's about as much CO2 as 1,700 cars driven for a year. In other words, each year the US can produce 100 million roses for about the same climate impact as a year of driving by 1/3 of the people who live in tiny Selah, WA population. That's pretty sweet.
Jan 22, 2013 Eric de Place commented on Report: Pacific NW Coal Terminals Are US's Biggest Threat in Climate Change Battle.
@5 and @6, it's a somewhat complicated issue, but here's the simplest way of thinking about it: the US has the world's largest coal reserves and China is the world's largest coal consumer. The road between those two places leads through the NW. So that's why these terminals matter.

The more complicated answer is that, yes, China will increase coal consumption but it's hard to judge the precise magnitude of the effect. US coal consumption is falling rapidly and it's difficult and expensive to move it to market abroad. The one place where there may be a viable market is East Asia, so the coal industry is frantically trying to develop West Coast port capacity. If they can't move our coal overseas, it probably won't get burned.

On the other side of the ocean, China isn't set on using any fixed amount of coal. They'll use what they can get economically or use other fuel sources if those are cheaper. (And there's ample evidence that the Chinese would actually prefer to move away from coal.) When we facilitate 140 million tons of coal into the Pacific seaborne market, that makes a potentially big difference in the price and demand of coal consumers.

BTW, the coal would exported from OR & WA but mined in Montana and Wyoming. We don't produce any coal here, so that's not the issue. The issue is whether we become a gateway for it when the coal industry has few alternatives to get it to market.
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Jan 22, 2013 Eric de Place commented on Report: Pacific NW Coal Terminals Are U.S.'s Biggest Threat in Climate Change Battle.
@1 Remember that we're talking about exporting 140 million tons of coal per year from OR + WA (with 48 million from Cherry Point alone). A conservative calculation of the carbon emitted from burning that coal would yield roughly 253 million tons of CO2 from all five terminals (and about 87 million from Cherry Point alone). And my figures count only burning the coal.

When you factor in mining, processing, rail transport, port handling, seaborne shipping, more rail transport, and power plant handling I can easily see Greenpeace's numbers as accurate.

The point is: when you actually do the math, you realize that the proposed coal export terminals in the Northwest are climate bombs of staggering proportions.
Sep 13, 2012 Eric de Place commented on McGinn Calls on Port of Seattle and Other Elected Officials to Stop the Coal Trains.
@11 -- I wonder who the Port's biggest customer is. Could it be... SSA Marine? The very firm that wants to ship 48 million tons of Peabody coal from the Bellingham area?

It's almost as if the Port is being hypocritical by singling out traffic congestion from arena traffic but not caring about coal train street blockage, which will be far more significant.
Sep 13, 2012 Eric de Place commented on McGinn Calls on Port of Seattle and Other Elected Officials to Stop the Coal Trains.
@2 and @9 -- By federal law, the railroads are required to pay just 5% of the costs of those type of separated grade crossings. In practice, they pay a much smaller share. And, yes, we'd likely be talking about hundreds of millions of dollars, just in SoDo.
Sep 13, 2012 Eric de Place commented on McGinn Calls on Port of Seattle and Other Elected Officials to Stop the Coal Trains.
@8 -- You continue to be wrong. And as the coal companies continually point out: there is actually no port capacity in Canada to handle US coal. That is, after all, why they are trying to build 5 export terminals in OR and WA.

If we say no to the coal, it stays in the ground. A few coal companies take a hit on their (already declining) profits, and 7 billion humans are better off for it.
Sep 13, 2012 Eric de Place commented on McGinn Calls on Port of Seattle and Other Elected Officials to Stop the Coal Trains.
@1 -- Sorry, no. If Whatcom County denies the permit, the coal will not go through to ports in Canada. Even the coal companies themselves say there's not nearly enough port capacity in Canada -- that's the whole point of trying to build new terminal here. (Further explanation here: http://www.sightline.org/research/coal-e…)

@2 -- Explain to me again why traffic congestion caused by coal shipments from Wyoming to China should be solved with Seattle tax dollars? If Peabody coal wants to block our streets for 2 hours of every day -- that's the plain math on it -- it should be up to them to fix the problem. But how likely do you think that is?
Jun 29, 2012 Eric de Place commented on Coal Trains Would Clog SoDo—Where's the Port's Outrage About Freight Mobility?.
Anyone care to guess how much it would cost to bury the tracks? Or who might pay for it?

Until then, Seattle has 8 streets -- several of them classified as important for trucks -- that will be closed somewhere around 2 hours per day.
Jun 29, 2012 Eric de Place commented on Coal Trains Would Clog SoDo—Where's the Port's Outrage About Freight Mobility?.
I'm not suggesting we "discount" them, I'm suggesting that we compare them to the economic damages inflicted on Seattle (and every other city along the rail lines).
May 23, 2012 Eric de Place commented on Railroaded.
To be clear, Roger Valdez was not speaking for Sightline in his remarks to the Stranger.

In fact, Sightline wrote approvingly about Puget Sound Sage's report, here: http://daily.sightline.org/2012/05/15/li…

Eric de Place
Sightline Institute