Environmental groups are mobilizing against proposals to export coal through Northwest terminals. That coal would be mined in the Rockies and travel by train across Idaho to Oregon and Washington ports to be shipped to Asia. Protesters rallied in Oregon’s capital Monday. They're asking Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber to block permits for several coal terminals.
Critics say the coal-laden trains would spew dust and block traffic. And environmental groups oppose the use of coal as an energy source regardless of where and how it's shipped.
"It's just craziness," says Andy Harris, He is with the group Physicians for Social Responsibility.
"We have no business moving backwards to export coal when we should be moving forward to export sustainable, clean energy sources," he says.
The protesters delivered about 7,000 signatures to Governor Kitzhaber, who spoke briefly with them after the meeting. The governor has said any coal terminals should "have to obey all state and federal laws to protect public health and the environment.”
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