Dad, seriously, WTF is up with coal export? Are you in it to win it?

….because adults aren’t allowed to say it, and kids can’t afford to leave it unsaid….


I’m worried about you.  You are up against some beasts in this coal export battle.  Are you and your green buddies up to this Pops?

I mean, these coal dudes may not be the sharpest tools in the shed, but they got some nerve on ’em.  Just look at what they’re proposing to do!  They want to dig up half of Montana, load it on trains and run it through the heart of Ecotopia, right over your organic butt, and ship it all off to Asia and burn it…. 140 million tons a year of black rocks — over 100 lbs. a day for every man, woman, and child in the state of Washington.   X-treme carbonicity!

If you and your renewable energy pals were serious about competing at this level, you’d be trying to turn all of Oklahoma into a national solar park, and reassigning Senator Inhofe to an internship with  Jim Hansen!  And while you’re at it, maybe you could bring Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook back to Rain City, so they can throw down sick dunks like this on Mr. Peabody when he tries to come into our house!

For real Daaad, who you gonna beat with stuff like this hefty tome analyzing how coal export will substantially increase global carbon emissions?  OK, so you did your homework, but do you actually think anyone is going to read that?  The coal guys don’t get an economist to analyze the impacts of their decisions.  They just trot out some marketing flak to make stuff up.  Here’s Peabody’s Senior VP for Investor Relations, quoted in Nat Geo of all places:  “It’s safe to say that not one more pound of coal will be used in Asia because of this terminal.”

See how it works Dad? While you put everybody to sleep with your thorough analysis, the coal dudes just go “It’s safe to say…!”  So what if it defies the laws of economics, all the available evidence, and any shred of moral responsibility?  It’s clear.  It’s definitive It’s short.  And it helps everybody forget about this nasty subject and talk about something else.  Snap!

Moxie, Dad, cajones.

If you even want to play on the same court with these guys, you need to rethink your obsession with the truth.  Coal folks know that nobody likes coal.  So — like the elephant that wore a green felt hat so it could sneak across pool tables without anyone noticing — they talk about other stuff!  Here’s the website for their proposal to build the largest coal terminal in North America.  “Coal”?  What coal? I don’t see any coal.  Just a “new and highly efficient way to ship dry bulk commodities.”  Sweet!

But they’re not just shifty.  They’re mean.  These guys will mow down the hopes and dreams of anyone who stands in their way.  In Bellingham, they say folks are “desperate” for jobs.  So just chill B’ham and take a few hundred jobs shovelling coal, and kiss the 10,000 jobs that might come with a proposed waterfront redevelopment goodbye, because nobody’s going to build it in a dirty old coal town.

This is Bellingham they’re talking smack to!  Where the biggest business association is Sustainable Connections!  Repeat winner of the Green Power Leadership award!  A proud NRDC Smarter City!  Nah nah, say the coal guys, put away those green dreams and just get used to life as a resource colony for Asia’s industrial sector.  You’re so down and out, you need to cash it all in and settle for a future that looks like Newport News, VA, or Newcastle Australia.

Oh, and Dad, in case you thought your opponents have any shame, now they’re trying to market coal export as a green thing because U.S. coal has less sulfur and ash (sort of)!  Wow.  I stand in awe.  They’ve got the nerve to say it’s good for the environent when they ship mountains of coal to support construction of power plants that will foreclose “forever” any hope of preventing catastrophic climate change .  (Hey, I know, let’s send American plutonium to Iran so they won’t have to deal with so much dirty processing and nuclear waste!  Mondo Eco, dude!)

Does King Coal have a brain?  A heart?  Not clear.  But tell you what, they got a pair!

Dad, please. buck up.  These guys aren’t screwing around.  They’ve got a gun pointed straight at the future’s head.  Are you just going to stand there in your little beanie with the solar-powered propeller on top singing Pete Seeger songs, or are you going to DO SOMETHING?

With love despite my deep doubts about your generation’s commitment to mine,

Your kid

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