In an article in the June 1 issue of The Spokesman-Review titled “Washington state blamed for holding up fossil fuels exports,” Montana Sen. Steve Daines explained how the state of Washington is inhibiting the export of Montana and Wyoming coal to Asia. While I agree with Daine, I also believe that the word “blamed” in the title of this article should have been “commended.”
While I have lived and worked as an atmospheric scientist in the state of Montana for about 35 years, I got used to seeing its politicians of both parties compete as cheerleaders for the export of their coal. This, in spite of the fact that coal is the worst form of fossil fuel with respect to the environmental problems caused by its use. Shipping the stuff to Asia simply transfers some of these ill effects to other countries and worsens our global warming problem.
Our planet has only one shared atmosphere and the CO2 emitted into it anywhere on the planet affects all of us - and especially future generations. While the representatives of Montana still manage to ignore these facts, I am pleased to see that some in Washington state do not.