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The photo that I’m holding shows the route, right through my home, that nearly 70 additional coal-carrying trains would take per day if Congress permits expansion of coal export facilities in the Pacific Northwest. Locally, the increased bustle would tarnish the beautiful, wild ecosystem here—home to all manner of wild creatures, including bear, moose, osprey, kokanee (sockeye salmon) and many others. Globally, the burning of more coal is only going to dig us deeper into our debt to the planet. I hope and expect our government to start paying it forward by acting to protect the precious resources that make this beautiful planet livable.

Clean Air Ambassador | Sandpoint, Idaho

Gary Payton

Our community lies along the shore of Lake Pend Oreille, nestled on a valley floor between two beautiful mountain ranges. We live amidst deer, moose, bears, eagles, ospreys, geese, ducks, trout, and kokanee. And, our town is a funnel for railroads moving east and west.

Coal industry officials hope to build new port facilities on the Washington/Oregon coast to ship over 100 million additional tons of coal per year to Asia, principally China. To move that coal from Montana and Wyoming would require up to 68 additional trains per day, all passing though Sandpoint. Because of this threat to my community, I’m coming as an Ambassador for Idaho to ask the Administration and Congress to examine the air quality and greenhouse gas effects of continued coal leasing and to deny the permits for these expanded coal exports.

Locally, coal dust, diesel exhaust and potential derailment are all present threats to our citizens, air quality, water quality, and environment. Globally, exported coal will only accelerate the earth’s warming and climate change. I hope and expect President Obama acts to protect my fellow citizens now and that our congressional delegation does the same.

Locally, coal dust, diesel exhaust and potential derailment are all present threats to our citizens, air quality, water quality, and environment. Globally, exported coal will only accelerate the earth’s warming and climate change.

50 States United For Healthy Air

Clean air should be a fundamental right. Air pollution causes asthma attacks, lung disease, and even death. But our bodies don't have to be the dumping ground for dirty industries.

The technology to dramatically reduce harmful air pollution is available today, and major polluters should be required to use it.

Clean Air Ambassadors from every state are sending a powerful message: Everyone has a right to breathe clean, healthy air.

It’s time Congress and the EPA used their ears to help our lungs.