Seattle City Council
8/6/2012 9:38:00 AM
Josh Fogt, Councilmember O’Brien’s office, 206-684-8800
Councilmember Mike O'Brien
Seattle leaders support proposed excise tax on mined coal
Last week the Seattle City Council signed a letter in support of Congressman Jim McDermott’s proposal to create a national Coal Mitigation Trust Fund by putting a $10 excise tax on every ton of mined coal.
In the letter, Seattle officials said, “We recognize that the price of coal does not adequately reflect the true cost of production and transport, because the cost of health, safety and transportation impacts fall on local communities. Should the proposed coal export terminal permits be approved, there must be a policy in place that ensures that these companies, and not the taxpayers, pay for the additional cost of the adverse impacts of their activities.”
Congressman McDermott introduced his proposal at the end of July. His office estimates the tax would generate $117 billion over the next decade.
“Coal companies considering business in our region must understand that they will be responsible for the full cost of the transport and export of coal, which includes health, safety and transportation impacts on our local communities,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien, Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee. “The excise tax on coal brings to light the true costs of transporting coal through our region and the City of Seattle supports Congressmen McDermott in advancing legislation.”
In May, the Seattle City Council passed Resolution 31379, opposing the transport of coal across Washington State and through Seattle and sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers requesting a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to consider the cumulative impacts of coal exports in the Northwest.