In this week's paper, I write about the thousands of people showing up at statewide public meetings to comment on and protest building the nation's largest coal export terminal 15 miles outside of Bellingham, Washington.
In response, slog-tipper Steve sent me a five-minute video he made of the huge turnout in Bellingham:
Here's my favorite pro-coal terminal comment in the video: "Instead of calling it coal, what if we called it ballet shoes? How would people feel about exporting ballet shoes? It's a legal commodity [and] coal's a legal commodity."
Here's my favorite con: "Coal is part of our past that we left behind. Bellingham used to be a coal mining town."
The crowds at these public meetings have been so outrageously huge—and well informed—that a Seattle event originally scheduled for this week at North Seattle Community College was postponed until December 13 at 4:00 p.m. and moved to the Washington State Convention Center.
(If you can't make the meeting, you can also leave a comment on the proposal.)
If the deal moves forward, up to 18 coal trains would travel daily through Spokane, the Columbia River Gorge, and up the coast through Longview, Tacoma, Seattle, Edmonds, Everett, Mount Vernon, before arriving in Bellingham. State and federal agencies are seeking public comment on the proposed terminal through January 21, 2013.