Thursday, 02 February 2023

McGuire sounds alarm on plans by secret new company to ship coal through the North Coast

NORTH COAST, Calif. — State Sen. Mike McGuire is raising the alarm about what he said is one of the largest environmental threats to face the North Coast in decades.

A secret, clandestine operation — hiding behind an anonymous LLC out of Wyoming — wants to ship millions and millions of tons of coal from Montana, Utah and Wyoming through the Northern California counties of Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Trinity and Humboldt, McGuire said.

McGuire said the shadowy rail operation would utilize a portion of the now defunct North Coast rail route, which runs approximately 320 miles between Marin and Humboldt counties. The coal would then be loaded onto ships in Humboldt Bay, sold overseas, and burned.

“This toxic coal train would run through the heart of so many thriving communities and along the Russian and Eel Rivers, which are the main source of drinking water for nearly one million residents,” McGuire said. “These mighty waterways are also home to some of the most sensitive ecosystems on Earth, which include numerous endangered species.”

The secrecy behind the toxic coal train is completely offensive, as well as the fact these bad actors have met behind closed doors with some local officials to try and make this toxic dream a reality, McGuire said.

He said this anonymous group has also filed a request to kill the build out of the Great Redwood Trail.

The trail, which will be the longest contiguous rail-trail in America, would stretch from the bustling waters of San Francisco Bay to the fog-shrouded redwood shores of Humboldt Bay.

Sen. McGuire has made significant progress on the Great Redwood Trail over the past several years.

The trail system would meander through ancient redwoods, state and national wildlands, oak-studded golden hills and along our incredible rivers. The trail will also be an economic driver for the dozens of rural communities it runs through.

“California banned coal-fired power plants for good reason,” McGuire said. ”Coal is the dirtiest and most damaging source of energy out there. It’s the number one cause of global warming and it’s the number one contributor to our climate crisis. The people of the North Coast won’t stand for this. We rallied against Big Oil to protect our coast from offshore drilling — and won. And we will win this fight against Big Coal.”

He added, “I’m here to promise that, no matter how many billions of dollars these coal barons throw at this project, we’re going to stop this dangerous proposal and put a nail in the coffin of coal, and we will continue to move the Great Redwood Trail forward.”

Sen. McGuire is expected to make an announcement in the coming days about new legislation he’ll be carrying to help stop Big Coal in their tracks.

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