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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

Topic: coal trains

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November 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM

On behalf of North Dakota and Montana, McKenna calls Washington coal study unconstitutional

Former Attorney General Rob McKenna has written a letter to Washington state on behalf of Montana and North Dakota that questions the constitutionality of Washington’s Department of Ecology review of a proposed coal-export terminal. “Some of the issues to be evaluated by Ecology transgress the boundaries of the States, infringing on (Montana and North Dakota’s) sovereignty,” McKenna wrote…

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Comments | More in State government | Topics: coal, coal trains, Collin Jergens

November 5, 2013 at 7:11 AM

Candidates backed by coal opponents leading in Whatcom County

Update  9:57 p.m. Whatcom County voters appeared to send a message against coal trains in Tuesday’s election. All four county-council candidates who are believed to oppose a controversial proposed coal-export facility there were leading in  competitive council races ­— including two challengers who looked to be on their way to toppling incumbents. Challengers Barry Buchanan and Rud Browne…

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Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: coal trains, Whatcom County

October 9, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Coal train spokeswoman caught on tape joking about Seattle area being “wacky”

Update, 1:45 p.m. on Oct. 10: The Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports has issued the following statement: “The statements made by the individual in the recording do not reflect the values or the views of the Alliance or its members.  As companies and members of the community, who operate and have employees in this region, we’re committed…

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Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: coal trains, Lauri Hennessey, Matt Ferguson

October 8, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Murray insists he’s against coal trains, too

In another measure of the ideological tightness of Seattle’s “me too” mayoral race, state Sen. Ed Murray called a news conference Tuesday to point out he totally agrees with Mayor Mike McGinn on opposition to coal trains rolling through the city.

Seeking to rebut what he called a “whispering campaign” by McGinn forces, Murray said notwithstanding campaign cash he’s received from some pro-coal train businesses, he’s against the trains, which coal opponents say would disrupt traffic and send coal dust spraying into air and water — in addition to abetting global climate change.

It’s an issue that McGinn has elevated to a top-tier priority in his mayoral campaign. Murray has been more muted on the topic; hence Tuesday’s news conference in which he tried to put to rest doubts about where he stands.

“I have been, since the first day I announced in December, opposed to these coal trains, despite the information you might have gotten from — I guess you could call it the office of misinformation — the McGinn campaign,” Murray said at the news conference next to the train tracks on the downtown Seattle waterfront. As if to reinforce his point about the disruption more trains would cause, Murray’s event was interrupted twice by passing trains at the nearby railroad crossing.

Murray’s mayoral campaign has received donations and fundraising aid from some firms and individuals with ties to proposed new coal ports that would ship Rocky Mountain coal to Asia.

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Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: 2013 Seattle mayoral race, coal trains, Mayor Mike McGinn

September 6, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Feds, state to conduct separate reviews of coal train proposals

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Washington State Department of Ecology will conduct separate reviews of proposals to expand state coal exports  — not the joint reviews that had been planned, both agencies announced Friday. The decision to separate the reviews is in some ways not surprising, since the agencies have staked out different criteria…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: Brendon Cechovic, Cherry Point proposal, coal trains