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February 24, 2014
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Letter: Railroad transport of coal is working elsewhere

Coal dust not an issue in N.C.

Duke Power was recently in the news, which awakened a controversial concern of some whom I view as extreme environmentalists. The subject was “coal dust” from rail transport of coal to any of several proposed Oregon coastal shipping facilities.

My wife and I have two children living in Madison, N.C. The locals consider us truant residents, enjoying their friendship and hospitality as our kids’ schedules allow. On the last two or three visits, I questionably engaged several of the local merchants regarding their awareness of health concerns related to coal dust from West Virginia and Pennsylvania coal shipped via rail to the large Duke Power generating facilities relatively close to High Point, N. C.

I’m not referring to an occasional small train passing through both Madison and Mayodan (a mile or so apart). These are long trains of 55 to 60 cars that run twice each evening. Not only have I waited for the nightly whistle before going to sleep, but I’ve patiently stood or sat and counted car after car. There is no coal dust: not on the siding, the street, the sidewalk or on the sleeve of my white shirt.

Coal dust is not going to kill half the population of Oregon and nearly all residents of the coal exporting area. The health concerns about coal dust are not only flawed or erring, but fabricated and mendacious. Generally, it’s nothing more than something for people with nothing better to do than waste time and energy and in many cases, their inherited money.

Tom Carter


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The News-Review Updated Mar 3, 2014 10:17AM Published Feb 24, 2014 11:28AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.