These coal trains, up to two miles in length, would "release toxic coal dust and diesel exhaust along the rail lines, clog our railroads, ports, and highways, risk our families? health, pollute our air and water, and stoke the climate crisis." Up to 50 pounds of coal dust would escape from each uncovered coal car.|
The Rally was held in conjunction with the WaterKeeper Alliance Conference being held that week in Portland Oregon.
"Founded in 1999 by environmental attorney and activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and several veteran Waterkeeper Organizations, Waterkeeper Alliance is a global movement of on-the-water advocates who patrol and protect over 100,000 miles of rivers, streams and coastlines in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa."
After an introduction by Jim Lockhart, the host of "A Growing Concern," the video clips are presented in two segments. The first segment is of the speakers preceding RFK and is about 22 minutes in length. The second clip is the speech by RFK, and is about 17 minutes in length. Kennedy connects the dots between the devastation wrought by Mountain Top Removal in the eastern U.S. and what the coal trains would mean for citizens of the northwest.
The event was moderated by Lauren Goldberg, attorney for Columbia Riverkeeper. Lauren is also speaking for the members of the Power Past Coal Coalition
Other speakers included Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen; Paul Lumley, executive director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, who emphasized global climate change and effects on salmon; Andy Harris of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, speaking about health hazards from the many toxins in the coal dust and exhaust from the trains; Toni Montgomery, who lives near train tracks; and Hao Xing, Quiatang Waterkeeper from China.
RFK speaks at length about the corrupting influence of the coal industry and how the coal trains will bring this legacy to the northwest. He states that "coal is a crime," and it's influence will corrupt the legislatures and media in the area, just as it has taken control of the coal producing states in the eastern U.S.
"If a foreign country did to us what the coal industry does to us every day, we would consider it an act of war.
Report from Huffington Post