Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: burlington northern santa fe


COAL: Dust’s a threat, and that’s no myth

A letter writer (TNT, 3-17) reports that he never saw coal dust when he lived in Kansas and labels concern about coal dust “a myth.” He recommends identifying “who is pushing the agenda.”

A web search using just “coal,” “dust” and “ballast” will reveal that the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway has research from the University of Illinois that confirms coal dust fouls the ballast that supports the rails, destabilizes the track and causes derailments and that federal regulators have confirmed BNSF’s concerns.

Moreover, the proponent of the Gateway Pacific project near Bellingham has committed to following BNSF’s

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COAL: Trains endangered by coal dust on tracks

Re: “Coal train issue draws scrutiny over traffic, air” (TNT, 1-8).

Ten thousand ton coal trains will place enormous burdens on our community. At our December 2012, the 25th Legislative District Democrats adopted a resolution reflecting our concerns.

Since then we have learned that these trains not only threaten our peace, quiet, comfort and convenience but also the safety of our communities and our national defense.

Open coal cars leak coal and coal dust that foul the ballast supporting the track. Burlington Northern Santa Fe has already experienced derailments when coal-dust fouled tracks combined with precipitation.

If only

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COAL: Let’s be realistic about trains and coal

Re: “Reject plan for coal export terminals” (Your Voice, 6-12).

The author’s naivete is startling. Let’s be realistic about neighbors, trains and coal.

• Coal is a legal product.

• Railways have an obligation under U.S. law to deliver freight.

• Wyoming and Montana mines have high-quality low sulfur coal to sell.

• China has a need for coal. It will buy it, either from U.S. and Canadian low-sulfur, high Btu quality coals or continue to burn the high-sulfur, low Btu quality coals it uses now, with its attendant environmental effects.

• Coal ports in Canada are planning to

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