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SafeGuard the South Fork [SGSF] is a grassroots group of citizens working to shape the public policies that affect the quality of life in the South Fork Valley and other agricultural communities in Whatcom County, WA. It is our belief that the  proposed Gateway Pacific coal export Terminal,  if permitted, will have serious adverse consequences for the rural and agricultural interests of Whatcom County.

GPT Public Comments: Scoping

The scoping period for the GPT Coal Export Terminal ended on January 21, 2013 to inform the type and the geographic scope of impacts to be included in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS is the key document for involved with approving or denying permits and/or leases required for the project.

SGSF submitted the following comments on GPT:

Eastern Whatcom County Farmland Route

Farmland Route Impacts

Protecting Agri-Food Sector Opportunities

In addition, SGSF has submitted comments on the interdependent proposals for the Tongue River Railroad and the Otter Creek Mine in the Powder River Basin, MT.

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The Coal Enigma

You’ve probably heard the CSX  Railroad radio ads.  It’s so easy to let it swish between your ears, “hurray for green and efficient trains”.  The pitch is: Trains can transport one ton of freight 500 miles on 1 gallon of fuel.

So here’s how it adds up for coal going to the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

One coal car carries one hundred tons. It travels about 1500 miles.

One coal car utilizes 1 gallon of fuel per mile, multiply by 3 (1500 miles) x 100 (tons) which is 300 gallons of fuel to move one car of coal from the Powder River Basin to Cherry Point.

A coal train has 150 cars, thus requiring 45 thousand gallons of fuel for one trip.  In order to gauge this; visualize a gasoline tanker truck and trailer set, you’ll need four loads, each set holds eleven thousand gallons.

If we have 9 trains per day as stated by SSA, traveling to Cherry Point, then that equals 405 thousand gallons per day for diesel fuel.

Multiply that by one year and that is 147, 825,000 gallons of fuel per year and that is one way not round trip.

147, 825,000 gallons of fuel per year, give that some thought!

We are exporting a natural resource, coal, which means more jobs for Asian manufacturers, fewer for America, and we are taking near to 150 million gallons of diesel fuel off the American market, limiting supply to American farms and industry and raising the price to American business and consumers, destroying our landscape, polluting air and water and decimating communities to do this.

How might someone who believes in the necessity of GPT explain the need for it in Wall Street’s own terms?

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