The Gateway Pacific Terminal applicant assures us that its coal terminal project will follow the most exacting environmental procedures and criteria –
after the applicant bulldozed roads, cut down trees, and filled wetlands on Cherry Point, all without the necessary permits.
The GPT applicant exhorts us to “work through the process” –
and subverts the process by paying day laborers to take up limited speaker spots as an inducement for pro-coal bigwigs to speak, while at the same time denying the opportunity to citizens who stood in line for hours to make scoping comments.
The GPT applicant says to “wait for the science” –
while making sure that scoping meetings feature its project cheerleaders, who tout one-sided claims about jobs without waiting for the studies that could show that the coal export project's impacts – on jobs, humans, and the environment -- will result in a net loss to our community, state, region, and world.
GPT’s public relations spokesperson admitted that the project applicant paid day laborers to stand in line at yesterday’s scoping session in Spokane (“'A lot of our people have jobs,' said Hennessey”). As far as I know, so far the applicant is not admitting that the practice originated in Ferndale – although by all accounts, the folks waiting in line at 8 a.m. for the first spots were not
the head of on the staff of the Realtors REALTORS(R) (not representing the REALTORS(R)), the head of the Chamber of Commerce, and Joe Wilson, speakers 4, 5 and AFY.
This practice does suggest a mitigation measure that the 1% can get behind. Has SSA Marine already committed to hiring folks to sit in line at rail crossings on behalf of our local VIPs, so they won’t have to waste their time waiting for 18 additional mile and a half long trains? After all, they have jobs!
For some reason, I found it particularly depressing that the GPT applicant apparently hired the Ferndale Event Center – the location of the Ferndale Scoping Session – for its own equivalent of an airport VIP lounge. While the wretched masses huddled outdoors in the cold wind, SSA Marine is said to have provided its boosters with a nice buffet.
Scoping agencies, please! Of all of the entities that you could emulate, could you not choose the airlines?
Or maybe it’s too late to bypass the omnipresent trappings of our hardening national caste system, even in so-called “public process.” The justice of the free market demands that the SSA Elite get the first class seating at scoping sessions. And, as the airlines have taught us, those who haven’t paid extra for the best seats deserve to be treated like cattle.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, I say. So the next time that somebody starts to talk about how much everybody in Whatcom County is going to benefit from coal terminal money, I’m going to ask for my own personal day laborer, too. After all, I have a job. I'm far too busy and important to do anything else.
I think that I’ll request an unemployed English major. If Get Whatcom Planning’s literary content suddenly exhibits a dramatic improvement, you’ll know that I’ve been bought out.