'Going backward or forward?': Fight intensifies over coal exports

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Northwest Coal Clash
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Northwest Coal Clash
In this photo taken Oct. 23, 2012, a dilapidated structure is seen jutting out into the Strait of Georgia along the beach just south of the location of a proposed coal exporting terminal in Ferndale, Wash., just north of Bellingham, Wash. In the distance behind are an existing aluminum plant and oil refinery. The progressive college town of Bellingham is at the center of one of the fiercest environmental debates in the region: should the Northwest become a hub for exporting U.S. coal to Asia? A proposal to build one of as many as five coal terminals here has divided the town, pitting union and businesses that welcome jobs against environmentalists who worry about coal dust and greenhouse gas emissions. A trade group is running TV ads touting the projects, while numerous cities such as Seattle and Portland are opposing coal trains through their communities. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)