PRI, Public Radio International
April 5, 2013
Federal officials are considering a plan to open up federal lands to coal mining, with the idea that the coal would be exported, likely to Asia. But two governors, in Washington and in Oregon, are urging federal officials to look closely at the proposals and consider whether its in the national best interest.
The governors of Oregon and Washington State are asking President Barack Obama’s environmental team to weigh in on controversial plans to export coal from federal lands in Montana and Wyoming to markets in Asia.
Governors John Kitzhaber of Oregon and Jay Inslee of Washington, both Democrats, have sent a letter to the White House, asking the government to consider costs to the climate and taxpayers as it reviews plans to build port facilities and rail lines. To be clear, the governors of Washington state and Oregon are not asking to block the export of coal from federal land. They’re simply raising questions.
Amelia Templeton, a reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting, said the state officials are effectively warning federal regulators to consider their actions very carefully — not because they have a way of stopping them, but because they think the issue is exceedingly complex.
[This report is part of the Voices of Coal project, from the public media cooperative, EarthFix.]