A vital ministry
I am the pastor of the Wenatchee Brethren Baptist Church. Over the last year and a half I have had several opportunities to collaborate with the PowerHouse in ministry to homeless persons. I have appreciated the compassion and firmness with which the staff does their work. There are several ministries and agencies which work with homeless people in Wenatchee, and the PowerHouse is an essential part of that network.
I understand that businesses near the PowerHouse have been negatively affected by the actions of some homeless people. Businesses and their customers do need a safe, clean environment. I pray that a solution can be found which addresses the legitimate concerns of businesses and enables the PowerHouse to continue its vital ministry.
Speak against coal exports
On July 27 I will join civil disobedience in Portland to say no to fossil fuel exports! If you agree with this letter, I hope you will share your knowledge as well.
There are terminals being built to bring 58.8 million tons of coal and upwards of 200 million barrels of crude oil each year on mile-plus long trains from North Dakota’s Bakken Oil fields, and Wyoming and Montana’s coal mines. For perspective, the largest burning coal plant in the United States burns 11 million tons of coal a year (Robert W. Scherer plant in Georgia). Loaded trains travel the Pacific Northwest through Idaho to Spokane, south to Port Morrow, Ore., then fuels are barged, trained, 218 miles down the Columbia River Gorge to Portland/Vancouver and put on ocean-going vessels or further railed up the I-5 corridor all the way to British Columbia. “Empties” will travel the Highway 2 corridor back for the next load. Tesoro, BP, Shell, Arch Coal, Peabody Energy, Ambre and many others are already in process and planning increases in fossil fuel transport, development, refineries and export terminals.
Why would the United States export fossil fuels while still importing it from the Middle East? Why would we want to see the huge increase in train traffic with its noise and coal dust pollution ruining our towns and waterways? The jobs created here will be minimal yet the damage to our environment and our peaceful towns will be huge. Trains are not stealthy! Very few Americans will profit from this proposal and the profits will not be shared. We, the residents of every small town along the railroad’s path, will suffer greatly from this greed. It’s time we speak up against this or we’ll be forced to live with the mess they create.
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