“Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley has joined Gov. John Kitzhaber in pressuring the Obama administration to conduct a sweeping environmental review of proposals for coal export facilities in Oregon and Washington state.
Other members of the Northwest’s congressional delegation should add their voices to the demand for a federal review of proposals that would increase dramatically this country’s coal export capacity by turning Northwest ports into major shippers of U.S. coal to China and other Asian countries.
Neither Merkley nor Kitzhaber has taken a formal position on the coal-export proposals. But they rightly understand that it’s impossible for state and local agencies to make informed decisions on the Northwest projects without a clear understanding of their environmental and economic effects.”