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Tue May 29, 2012
Seattle opposes coal-export ports
The Seattle City Council has unanimously passed a resolution opposing the development of coal-export terminals in Washington state over concerns about increased train traffic and potential harm to health and the environment.
Tuesday's vote comes as the federal government is reviewing the first of at least six port facilities proposed in Washington and Oregon to ship coal from the Powder River basin of Montana and Wyoming to thirsty markets in Asia.
If all the facilities are built, at least 100 million tons of coal a year could carry coal in trains through the Northwest before being shipped to Asia.
Councilmember Mike O'Brien says mining and burning more coal isn't consistent with the city's goal to fight climate change.
Opponents say the resolution is premature and the council should let the environmental review be completed.