Last week I made a choice. My options were clear. 1) Build infrastructure that perpetuates our reliance on outdated technologies and a dwindling resource, putting the health of thousands of families here in Washington State in jeopardy. 2) Invest in our future, promote new technologies, harness limitless resources, and safeguard the health and welfare of our communities.
You see, SSA Marine has proposed building a shipping terminal near Bellingham that would bring strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming through our State for export to China. There it would be processed, consumed, and the unfiltered carcinogens and carbon dioxide released into our atmosphere. China has no environmental regulations, and their rapid expansion of coal-fired power plants allows them to industrialize on the cheap, without regard to the global environmental impact. The diesel-powered coal trains would also leave a plume of coal dust in their wake as they chug through our communities.
Author Eric Allenbaugh famously said, “Every choice moves us closer to or farther away from something.” I believe we need to move further away from dirty coal, and closer to clean, green power. That is why I stood up this week to oppose SSA Marine’s coal terminal. We need to invest in our future. Instead of exporting coal to China and importing Chinese-made solar panels, we should invest in American manufacturing and build our solar panels right here in Washington. We can retrofit schools to make them more energy efficient, an investment that will pay for itself and more in energy cost savings over the coming decades. We can harness the power of tidal forces along our coast and the wind through our valleys. We can put people back to work improving their own communities.
I hope you will stand with me and compel our leaders to invest in our future, not in China or in the technologies of the past. Together we can build a better tomorrow.
Darshan Rauniyar, an entrepreneur and small business owner in Bothell, is a candidate for Congress in Washington’s 1st District.