Leftists Declare War On Northwest Ports
A fortunate coincidence of geography made Lewiston the ideal port for handling oil extraction equipment “megaloads” destined for Canadian tar sands. Our sanctimonious local lefties managed to spoil that and drive the jobs elsewhere.
They saw blocking oil extraction as their moral imperative to save the world from evil oil.
And now geography has given the northwest coast another glorious opportunity. Our port systems have provided us with a chance to serve emerging economies in Asia. Once again we have a chance to create jobs and expand economic opportunities. And once again, the lefties are inflating their windbags in an all out effort to make sure that doesn’t happen either.
And they are petitioning their community obstructer in the White House to save the Northwest from all that prosperity.
Rapidly growing economies in Asia are starved for energy. And the United States has what they need most – coal. We have lots of coal. Thanks to Obama, we have great surpluses of coal.
In just the last year, the percentage of electricity generated by coal fired power plants has declined from 44.6% to 36%. That goes a long way toward explaining why a felon behind bars won over 40% of the vote against Barack Obama in the West Virginia Democratic presidential primary.
And to go along with that surplus of coal, we also have a surplus of coal mining capacity, which is a splendid euphemism for laid off coal miners, thrown out of work by Obama’s policies.
One of the few promises that Obama has kept is to drive coal out of the US energy market. But look at the bright side. Now we have more to sell abroad. Lord knows we could use help balancing our trade deficit with China.
The Great Northwest is ideally situated to cut itself a generous slice from this emerging energy market. With energy prices soaring and Asian economies growing, northwestern ports are perfectly situated to ship Rocky Mountain coal to those growing markets.
Plans are in the works to develop port facilities from Coos Bay, Oregon to Bellingham, Washington to handle coal exports. It is predicted that these ports would need to handle an estimated 150 million tons of coal annually. That number is 50% higher than all US coal exports last year.
This is huge.
And in a sane world, this would be good news. But this isn’t a sane world. This is the Pacific Northwest. And in the Pacific Northwest, Democrats and environmentalist wackos rule. And so naturally, the left is preparing to sabotage this opportunity.
The left has marshaled “socially conscious” physicians who are wringing their hands over all the diesel smoke that the increased train traffic will generate.
Supposedly, the state of Washington is concerned that an additional 1200 barge trips down the Columbia River might snarl marine traffic and cause more groundings.
The left has even marshaled the Indian tribes, convincing them that imaginary coal spills will pollute rivers and destroy salmon runs.
And so, faced with this threat of economic growth, job creation and new revenue for state government coffers, politicians and activists from throughout the Northwest are asking Barack Obama to pull another Keystone XL Pipeline stunt from his bag of tricks and put a stop to it.
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, whose state apparently has all the jobs that it needs, argues that coal, wherever it is burned, contributes to global warming.
“If the United States is going to embark on a large-scale export of coal to Asia, it is imperative that we ask – and answer – the question of how such actions fit with the larger strategy of moving to a lower-carbon future,” he wrote in a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers.
Leftists also argue that if China and India can generate electricity from cheap coal, then they will have little incentive to develop wasteful and expensive “green” energy sources.
Actually China does have a green industry. It builds wind turbines and solar panels that it sells to the US. China knows better than to waste time and money on such frivolities for itself. But if those silly Americans want to throw their money at such garbage, then China’s happy to catch it.
Jobs! Growth! Tax revenue! These are all things that the Northwest needs. And if it doesn’t work out, we’ll know who to blame.