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4130 166th Place SW, Lynnwood, Washington  98037
Telephone 425-771-1110, Fax 425-776-8081

April 16, 2014

Xi Jinping, President
People’s Republic of China
Zhongnanhai, Xi Chang’an Jie
Beijing 100017
People’s Republic of China


Dear President Xi Jinping,

I write to urge you to redirect all capital currently going into building coal fired power plants into wind, solar, geothermal, and other green energy technologies.

I respect China. I respect the right of China to determine its own policies. However, we live in one world now. When China’s policies affect me, I reserve the right to point this out. The fallout from the coal burned in China lands on me and the backyard garden I eat out of. I inhale it here five days after it goes up smoke stacks there. The carbon dioxide produced by burning coal will raise the temperature and the sea level in Lynnwood as much as it will raise the temperature and the sea level in Shanghai.

There are plans to transport massive amounts of dirty coal by train through Washington state, bound for China. These trains will pass only a few miles from my home. Coal dust will settle on my car and enter my house and settle on my furniture. People in Washington and Oregon are very upset about this.

Coal cars are not sealed. Coal is shipped uncovered; otherwise it catches on fire. Even with the cars uncovered, coal will often smolder, and it sometimes coal arrives at its destination on fire. Up to a ton of coal, including all its many contaminants, will blow off each open car during transportation. This will permanently despoil our physical environment.

Coal is filthy to mine. Tailings pollute waters – permanently. Mountain tops are removed; streams are destroyed.

Coal is filthy to burn. It emits not only carbon dioxide. It also emits carbon monoxide, hydrogen, propane, methane, mercury, and other toxic substances.

Coal ash is left behind in the burning process. Coal ash retention pond dams break and flood lands downstream. Some coal ash is used to make cement, but some is deposited in landfills which eventually leak, and so the ash will work its way into rivers and into the underground water table. Coal ash contains radionuclides. There is no good place to store the coal ash. So we should not produce coal ash.

Coal power plants emit mercury, which falls into the Pacific, where it is taken up by small creatures and works its way up to the salmon that most people love to eat. We do not need to be adding more mercury to air, water and land, and that is what more coal burning does.

So, I respectfully ask that China halt all capital infusions into coal fired power plants. China should put the same money into solar, wind, geothermal, wave, tide, efficiency, and biomass sources of energy – as Germany is doing. Wind and solar electrical production can be implemented much more quickly than construction of coal power plants. Once built the, cost of fuel is zero.

For similar reasons, I urge you to stop investing in nuclear power production. Uranium is filthy and energy intensive to mine. It is filthy and energy intensive to smelt. After a few years producing energy, nuclear power leaves behind massive quantities of radioactive waste which must be guarded for 250,000 years. In the long term each nuclear power plant is already bankrupt.

China does not have a lot of coal, oil, gas, or uranium. Therefore, it must import them if it is to use them to make power. If China eschews these old forms of making power and develops green sources of power, it will become less dependent on other countries and more powerful financially.

When one realizes that he going the wrong way down a one-way street, there is no point in going further in the wrong direction. One should turn around immediately. Coal power and nuclear power are one-way streets. They are dead ends. I urge you to adopt a green power policy immediately. Coal and nuclear power plants under construction should be left abandoned.

With its one-party system, China has the ability to implement bold policy changes much more quickly than the United States, where our political parties quarrel constantly and decide little. China builds a national maglev and bullet train system in a decade, while the United States can only build a few miles.

China can and should lead the way – as Germany has done – in abandoning dirty power and turning to clean power.

I visited Hong Kong several years ago. I hope to visit the rest of your great country some day soon.

Respectfully submitted,


James Robert Deal, Attorney
WSBA Number 8103
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