Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Army Corps Opts-Out of Its Mission Statement

The Army Corps of Enginners opted to ignore its Mission Statement today, telling Congress it won't comprehensively review proposed Pacific Northwestern coal export terminals.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not conduct an all-encompassing review of the three coal export projects proposed in the Northwest, rejecting requests from  Oregon and Washington's governors and project opponents.

Jennifer Moyer, acting chief of the Corps' regulatory program, told a House subcommittee today that the agency would review the three proposed export terminals separately, and would not directly address some of the opposition's top concerns. All three projects seek to export Montana and Wyoming coal to Asia through the Northwest.

"Many of the activities of concern to the public, such as rail traffic, coal mining, shipping coal outside of U.S. territory, and the ultimate burning of coal overseas, are outside the Corps' control and responsibility," Moyer said in prepared testimony.
ACE's Mission Statement reads:
Mission Statement: Provide vital public engineering services in peace and war to strengthen our Nation's security, energize the economy, and reduce risks from disasters.
And its Vision Statement is:
Vision Statement: A GREAT engineering force of highly disciplined people working with our partners through disciplined thought and action to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions to the Nation's engineering challenges.
There's simply no way you can argue that the proposed exports, which would total 110 million tons annually, might not possibly increase "risks from disasters" (and hence require a review) or not constitute a "sustainable solution." That amount of coal would, when burned, emit about 250 million tonnes of CO2 a year (about 5% of US emissions), costing, according the EPA's social cost of carbon, over $9 billon annually.

+1 for politics, -1 for the environment. Science is left to softly weep over in the corner, its hankie thoroughly soaked by now.

2 comments:

William Connolley said...

It seems utterly bizarre to me to have the Army review commercial coal terminals. Who would want them to do such a thing? Do you want a Chinese-or Russian style Army that does bizniz?

David Appell said...

Unfortunately, this is what we have in the U.S.

They don't call in the "military-industrial complex" for nothing.