I’m excited for the County Council race; its future power to deny a permit for the Cherry Point terminal has made national news.
Instead of clear party lines, I’m pleased to find a diverse crowd opposes the terminal.
The terminal would hurt our economy by devastating herring populations thus endangering salmon and Washington’s fishing industry, which supports 66,000 jobs. The contaminants that threaten herring would harm agriculture all along the train corridor. Waterfront businesses would be blocked by rail traffic.
Coal trains would damage our infrastructure and property values, and could force Bellingham to build bridges over tracks at taxpayers’ expense. More vibration and pollution would cause wear on property near tracks and decrease property values. Entrepreneur Magazine found the worth of homes near rails decrease 5-7 percent.
Federal law prohibits railroads from paying more than 10 percent of the cost of safety improvements. Heavier coal trains wear out tracks faster, causing expensive repairs, more squealing and derailing.
Coal trains would impact the waterfront redevelopment which represents more jobs than the terminal. We need investors to pay premium prices for real estate near the railway—trains would decrease its value and drive away real job creators.
Let’s set a precedent for moving from coal to cleaner energies. Becoming a leader in the growing green energy market could be a great step for our economy.
I believe conservatives and liberals alike will choose Browne, Mann, Buchanan and Weimer.
—Alissa French, Bellingham
The Bellingham Business Journal welcomes letters from readers. Please read our guidelines. Views reflected in letters belong solely to the author(s), and they are not necessarily shared by The Bellingham Business Journal or Sound Publishing.