Coal not only burning issue


Re: More coal trains: bad business, June 6; In the black, June 4, letters.


Re: More coal trains: bad business, June 6; In the black?, June 4, letters.

I wonder if the uproar over coal trains is people having legitimate concerns about the environment, or more White Rock NIMBYism.

If people are that concerned about the negative effects of coal, maybe they should take the next step and start stopping or banning the huge list of detrimental things that are plaguing us. Start with banning Walmart, cheap foreign goods and consumerism.

Stop factory farming, eating meat and dining at fast food restaurants. Stop pipelines, tar sands, driving cars and flying on planes.

Ban monster homes and having too many children. Ban advertising, Facebook and mindless tweets.

Stop the unelected from being decision makers, have a maximum wage and make people vote.

Let’s just ban capitalism, because I just don’t want those dirty coal trains going through my town.

Mike Hammersmark, Surrey

• • •

Reading the many Powder River Basin coal detractors’ letters concerning coal railed through White Rock and South Surrey, and considering the amount of coal dust these fear-mongers envision being propelled from these trains, and further considering the 1,900-kilometre journey these trains take to get here from Gillette, Wyo., these coal cars should already be empty by the time they cross the border.

Ironically, these same cars will probably emit more dust on their return trip. The mine is paid for tonnes loaded onto the ship, which is why they pour on the retardant. This notwithstanding, after the cars are rotary dumped, there is always residual in the cars and it’s the “empty” car requiring treatment.

It’s the return trip that matters.

If they’re concerned about our environment, they should consider the amount of chlorine dioxide that’s railed through White Rock and Crescent Beach. This is the stuff that will kill you; coal won’t.

Funny, everyone is complaining about the trains, but they’ve been shipping coal from Roberts Bank for more than 40 years.

Perhaps if everybody stopped buying Chinese stuff, they might not need to generate more power there.

And, by the way, let’s not forget rail has been traveling through the Semiahmoo Peninsula for over 100 years. Because we’re here, now we expect it to go away? We’re lucky BNSF allows us access across their right-of-way to the beach.

Notwithstanding the fact that coal-train detractors have recently had, and lost, their chance to elect a Green provincial candidate, there still is ample opportunity for them to show their true colours and, in my opinion, that is to publicly hoist the not-so-recently retired hammer and sickle.

Alex Barrie, Surrey

• • •

The Nicomekl and Serpentine trestles – along with the bridge over the Little Campbell River – are reaching their effective life span.

In the history of trains moving through our community, there have never been heavier loads than coal trains stressing these structures.

The safety and environmental concerns should be cause to find another route, even if more coal export is approved through Surrey.

The only way to motivate BNSF is to cut into profit margins. The potential for a major failure along this rail corridor may prompt them to look for alternate routes.

Paul Hough, Surrey