09 Aug '11, 12am

A Washington state war against coal could affect China's energy habits and emissions:

Outside Alaska, there's only one coal-export terminal on the West Coast, in Delta, B.C. There are plans afoot to build another, in Bellingham, Wash., and local activists are fighting it . There are plenty of local reasons not to want a coal-export terminal in your state -- read this brief from the Center for American Progress for more on that -- but I want to focus on the climate-related argument. In this fight and others like it, one often hears a certain sort of fatalism about fossil fuels. Demand is rising inexorably because of growth in the developing world, which means, we're told, that all of the available fossil fuels will eventually be consumed. Blocking any one local refinery, power plant, or shipping port is pointless -- it doesn't prevent production or consumption, it just shifts them around the global market. (Fossil fuels are "fungible .") This explains the en...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/coal/2011-08-08-why-washingtons-coal...

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