The Tacoma City Council needs encouragement from the public to take a position against coal trains through the City of Destiny.  --  UFPPC's Marilyn Kimmerling has been tirelessly active on this issue and urges the citizens of Tacoma to show up in numbers at the Oct. 15 City Council meeting (5:00 p.m.).  --  Further information and details below.[1] ...


By Marilyn Kimmerling

Background:  If we are not committed to stopping it, Peabody Coal and Burlington Northern Railway will be shipping up to 30 mile-and-a-half long uncovered coal trains A DAY from Montana across Washington State to ports where it will then be shipped to China and elsewhere to be burned.

Think about it. Emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks waiting precious minutes to get to their destinations, increased commute times for thousands of commuters trying to get to work . . .


Over a 100 tons DAILY of spilled coal dust on the tracks which increases train derailments, contaminating our air and soil; at the docks where it is being loaded the spilled coal dust and pollution will definitely increase acidification of our Puget Sound, killing marine life.

This will economically be a disaster, too, as tourism to our beautiful corner of this world, and all the businesses that benefit from it (restaurants, fishing, hotels/motels, tour packages, and all the rest) will see a decline as we are despoiled.  It will provide some jobs, but in consideration, the benefit does not balance out the cost in fisheries, quality of life, small businesses, tourism dollars, and deleterious  health effects.

The coal dust is directly linked to increased asthma and respiratory disease in populations who come in contact with it regularly.  That is us, our loved ones and children.  WE CAN’T LET THIS HAPPEN!

Washington has recognized the need for addressing our dependence on fossil fuels and climate change which is already upon us.  We need to develop clean and sustainable energy, not promote more dirty fossil fuel exploitation.  The proposed coal trains will ship that dirty fuel en masse to countries where it then will be burned and even more CO2 into our atmosphere.

Seattle, Portland, and Coos Bay, among other ports and cities, have stood up and said NO!  Tacoma has not done this yet and we know this does have an effect on whether the trains come through or not.  Our City Council needs strong encouragement to do the same. The scoping hearings with the EPA will occur that same week on October 17 at 5:00 p.m. at the Convention Center and the impact will be greater if the Council comes out then against the coal trains.  Each council member has been provided with a proposal to do this, but so far a majority of them have been more focused on Proposition 1 (Roads and Potholes) and the coming November elections, and have not been willing to formally bring the No Coal Proposition to the floor for consideration.  Please come out in force to our next Tacoma City Council meeting which has public comment and encourage them to do what is right!

When: 5:00 PM Tuesday, October 15th 

Where: 747 Broadway in Tacoma

Please sign up at the door of the chamber to make citizen comments at the meeting and wear red to show your support for NO COAL TRAINS through Tacoma.