27 Feb '13, 6pm

My new post: Nine reasons China won’t need enough coal to justify coal ports in the Pacific Northwest

U.S. coal companies claim that exporting low-grade coal from the Powder River Basin through ports in the Pacific Northwest to Asia is big business, a sure thing, easily worth the pollution and disruption the new coal infrastructure would cause. Their case to investors, local communities, and state regulators is based on a simple premise: China’s demand for coal is steady and rising. And that does seem to be the conventional wisdom. But there are reasons to think the premise is false, and that the extraordinary sacrifices being asked of Northwest communities — dozens of trains a day passing through, spewing dust and noise; gigantic, polluting ports crowding out the cultural amenities in some of America’s most bucolic coastal towns — will lead not to jobs and enduring prosperity, but wasted time, wasted money, and disappointment. I’ve been seeing threads of this story here a...

Full article: http://grist.org/climate-energy/nine-reasons-china-wont-n...

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