Coal exports: Are they opportunity or curse?


A big question these days is whether it would be good or bad to build large coal-shipping terminals in Washington and Oregon, enabling transport of substantial quantities of U.S. coal to China and possibly other Asian countries. The answer is not simple.

Proponents of the idea point primarily to jobs that the construction and, to a lesser extent, operation of coal terminals could provide, as well as new jobs related to mining and transport of coal. To be sure, sales of coal could also be a boon to our balance of trade with China.

Alternatively, those concerned with global warming and growin...

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