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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

December 14, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Vote: Should the Northwest expand coal exports?

More than 2,300 people turned out at the Washington State Convention Center Thursday night at a hearing on whether to ship 48 million tons of coal a year to Asia through a terminal at Cherry Point. Most were opposed.

I’ve written on this before. Up to six coal-export terminals are proposed for Washington and Oregon to feed Asia’s hunger for the fuel. They would create many construction jobs and fewer operating positions. The problem: Continued and increasing use of coal will help cook the planet beyond repair. It’s too bad we didn’t make the research and development investments, along with the incentive of a carbon tax, to be exporting clean-tech power plants to Asia instead.

So what should we do?

Should the NW increase coal shipments

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