headline speaker Wednesday night as the 5th District Democrats held a discussion on why a proposal to have coal trains passing through the area would be harmful to both the economic climate and the environment. Constantine, known a strong environmentalist, said that there are three proposed routes to transport coal from mines in Wyoming and Montana to be loaded at ports in Longview and/or Bellingham and shipped to China. Constantine said that 18 trains a day, approximately a mile and a half long could be running through downtown Seattle, causing serious traffic snarls. That could seriously damage the economic health of the region. The trains could also tie up the rails and ward off needed cargo for Seattle's major industries.
Constantine has said that King County government has made a commitment to clean energy sources and that Coal is one of the dirtiest sources of energy. Dust from the coal passing through could severely lower the air quality of the region, raising the human health issue.
Also, speaking was Tiffany McGuyer, from Power Past Coal, a group that opposes the trains on the grounds that cleaner and healthier energy sources are available.
5th District Chair Jim Baum addressed the group to say that more discussions on timely regional issues are now in the works. The discussion took place at the City Hall in Issaquah, the largest city in Washington's 5th legislative district.