Inslee Stuck Between Coal and Clean Energy

By Tom Bacon

Only a few days on the job, Washington's new governor, Jay Inslee, finds himself stuck in a quandary - whether to make the state a hub for exporting enormous quantities of coal to Asia, or whether to uphold his vision of a clean energy economy.

Governor Jay Inslee Giving Inaugural Speech. Photo from TVW.Coal companies are angling to build two big export terminals in Washington State from which 100-million tons of coal a year would be shipped to China, Japan and South Korea. In Oregon, three more such facilities are being planned.

Inslee, a long time proponent of environmental issues, has been pushing for investments in solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars since he was elected to Congress in 1999. 

The day he was inaugurated, Inslee brought up the issue, citing possible transportation clashes.  (sound clip below).

He also pointed out that even if the coal is burned in Asia, its products of combustion will wind up in Washington.
 
Inslee said the issue of carbon release from burning coal versus economic growth is the top issue his administration will face. 


Photo: Governor Jay Inslee Giving Inaugural Speech. Photo from TVW.
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