A resolution against transporting and exporting coal through Columbia County, Oregon

Whereas, Coal is known to contain carcinogens, mercury, and uranium, all with long-term health effects; coal dust is a known air, water, and land pollutant, harmful to all human and animal life;

Whereas, Coal dust deposition undermines efforts to improve water quality in the Columbia River watershed, and invasive species in huge bilge water discharges will be distributed throughout regional waters, with irreversible effects on our ecology and industries; moreover, most proposed remedies are inadequate to preclude loss of fish and wildlife, and habitats and nurseries;

Whereas, Our over-stressed air shed will be inundated by tug and locomotive emissions, and all air pollution from the terminals will affect our Clatsop County, Wahkiakum County and Cowlitz County neighbors as well; in addition, the emissions from China’s coal-fired power plants will affect air quality on our entire Pacific coast and undercut world emissions goals;

Whereas, The proposed coal terminals are in jeopardy from tsunamis, flooding, and earthquakes’ soil liquefaction;

Whereas, All unit trains will poison the streams and wetlands they travel through from Boardman, Oregon, to Astoria, and Boardman to Coos Bay, including all our major cities and towns; businesses will refuse to move next door to polluted coal train and barge routes;

Whereas, Extended waiting times for long unit trains to clear intersections will cause traffic to stall, increasing air pollution, causing delayed response times for police, fire, and EMT, and limiting access to residences, schools, medical facilities and commercial areas; mercantile areas will in effect be isolated, lose exposure, circulation, customers, and growth;

Whereas, Traditional agricultural industries, such as food crops, nurseries, tree farms, and hay will be adversely affected when they produce soiled and contaminated products;

Whereas, All regional parents, grandparents, and other residents will suffer the pain and regret of not stopping this industrial assault on everything around us which constitutes our descendants’ future; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Columbia County Democratic Central Committee opposes the transport of coal through the county and rejects the use of our public property through the Port of St. Helens or any other public authority for the purpose of construction of coal export facilities.

Adopted by the Oregon Columbia County Democratic Central Committee on August 28, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012