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Coal trains

Tribes know how to negotiate well

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Your Jan. 4 editorial relating to concerns the Tulalip and Lummi tribes have stated regarding the proposed coal terminal near Bellingham is certainly not unexpected. Over many years the tribes have shown themselves to be masters at expressing serious concerns over any public issue that doesn't directly line their pockets. My guess is that the Tulalip's testimony at the recent Seattle scoping hearing was the first shot across the bow for an effort that will result in payments to the tribes in exchange for dropping their objections to the project. For an example, one doesn't have to look back more than a few years to the controversy over the pier to be built at Mukilteo for Boeing.
This letter is not written with ill will toward any of the local tribes; perhaps more with envy. Over the years tribal leaders have become very good businessmen, and are quite skilled at leveraging their various advantages into considerable financial gain for those fortunate enough to be tribal members. I do not doubt that they do have legitimate concerns relative to potential environmental impacts; but we all do. The difference is no one will be writing me a check so the project can proceed. Watch and see how this plays out.
As an aside, I have been a Herald subscriber for over 30 years. I cannot recall the newspaper ever publishing an editorial that was in any way critical of the Tulalip Tribes or Boeing. Those two entities seem to be the darlings of The Herald and are off-limits to any objective review. A more balanced scrutiny would be found refreshing.
Ron Baker

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