Pair of stories show competing interests | Letter to the editor

Posted 11/27/20

I think that there is validity in the article “Ferry report” (The Leader, Nov. 18) regarding the potential problems and the terrible economic impact the reduction or possibly the …

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Pair of stories show competing interests | Letter to the editor

Posted

I think that there is validity in the article “Ferry report” (The Leader, Nov. 18) regarding the potential problems and the terrible economic impact the reduction or possibly the suspension of the route between Port Townsend and Whidbey Island would have on both the town and Jefferson County.  

The county and Port Townsend depend in a large part on the ferry traffic to support the tourist trade and the commercial traffic that uses the ferry route between Port Townsend and Whidbey Island, all of which is propelled by internal combustion engines.  

It seems ironic that on the very next page there appeared an equally valid article highlighting the large negative effects that cars and trucks (ferries, too) have on Port Townsend and Jefferson County’s greenhouse gas emissions in the amount of 66 percent in 2018. Certainly not all of the vehicular traffic that ply Jefferson County roadways get here by ferry.  

I wouldn’t argue with either stance, they’re both valid and important to our lives in Port Townsend and Jefferson County. I do think that the Leader maybe should have printed both articles on the same page so people would have been more prone to read both points of view. Even though neither article was challenging the other directly nor likely intentionally.  

Ultimately both ideals are diametrically opposed to one another. If either position were to achieve their ideals completely the overall outcome would eventually be disastrous for all Jefferson County residents.  

Ross Budden
PORT LUDLOW

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Tom Thiersch

I don't see "conflicting points of view". Without the ferries, total emissions would be much worse. Agreed, cars and trucks are large contributors to the problem and ferries have their own emissions problems, even though WSF uses the cleanest diesel, including biodiesel - much cleaner than most trucks.

The WSF Long-Range Plan states that all new ferries will be hybrids, and nearly all existing vessels will be converted to hybrids within the next 15 years. All ferries will be capable of operating in full-battery mode once shore recharging facilities are completed. Depending on the terminal, that electricity will be emissions free. That is, when the power comes from clean sources such as BPA which our local PUD uses. At some other ferry terminals, where PSE supplies the power, the electricity will not be as "clean" until PSE eliminates the fossil fuel from its mix. Currently, PSE power is 56 percent from fossil fuels (coal and natural gas).

The first new hybrid ferry is currently under construction at Vigor.

Trucks, as well, are transitioning to EV. Look at Tesla's Semi, a zero-emission Class 8 hauler, more than 750 which have already been ordered by Walmart, Pride Group, UPS, FedEx, and many others.

Or, Amazon's fleet of Ford Transit 100% EV delivery trucks. Amazon has also ordered 100,000 Rivian EV delivery trucks, with 10,000 of them scheduled to be in service by 2022.

Things are changing quickly, for the better.

Want to help? Buy an EV! Charge at home for pennies per mile, support our PUD, and take your money away from the fossil fuel companies.

Saturday, November 28, 2020