Coal dust on grasses near coal terminal
Ten Questions for Port of Coos Bay CEO David Koch—
Since I was unable to attend the City of Eugene’s working session, here are my top ten questions:
1- If your consultants used standard industry numbers how come your job numbers
per million tons of coal exported are twice Cherry Point’s numbers which also included train and pilot jobs?
2- The Port keeps mentioning covered facilities like they exist and are in common usage, can you give a couple of examples of existing covered export facilities that ship in excess of 5 million tons annually of thermal coal that have been tested and proven not to discharge coal dust to the air and water?
3- On a similar front you keep mentioning covered coal cars, can you give examples of where these are being used successfully with thermal coal and by what companies?
4- The focus of much of your presentation is on job creation in Coos Bay, which is certainly important, but what about jobs that are projected to be lost via business isolation and lost development potential from mile and third long unit trains and by selling a discounted raw material to a competing economy that is rapidly displacing jobs in the US?
5- Since studies have shown that increases in freight rail traffic—most notably in Los Angeles
—reduce the value of homes, how is the Port of Coos Bay going to properly compensate homeowners along the delivery route in Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon?
6- The Port keeps harping on the economic contribution of this facility, how in this economic equation does the Port account for needed rail infrastructure costs requiring massive public investments along the non-Coos Bay Rail portion of the 1200 mile plus delivery route?
7- Also looking at the economic “benefits” you claim, where do you take into account reduced federal natural resource values attendant to Powder River Basin de-certification
and the associated discounts of roughly $4 per ton ($40 million annually at 10 million tons) essentially given by the American taxpayers to the Korean, Japanese and US partners in this project?
8- The Port also touts the environmental records of the players involved, how does that reconcile with the fact that a division of Mitsu
i—one of the partners—was recently fined $90 million for their part in the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico?
9- The Port also keeps emphasizing that while coal is not the most desirable cargo that this is seen essentially as a "stepping stone" for better and more sustainable options such as container terminals and value-added products, could you please provide examples of where this type of conversion from a bulk terminal has happened?
10- When running at full capacity (10 million tons) the trains delivering the coal will emit an addition 1.5 tons of diesel particulates per mile of route, as diesel particulate emissions have been shown to increase the risk of respiratory, pulmonary, and cardiac diseases as well as cancer, how is the Port of Coos Bay going to address the health consequences for these people–especially the younger and older–along the more than 1200 mile delivery route in the US?
There are many more questions that need to be answered, but let’s start with these.