Bucking state findings, Army Corps revives environmental review of Washington coal port

The Trump administration is again sidestepping state opposition to give a boost to the fossil fuel industry. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will continue an environmental review of a proposed coal-export project in Washington—despite state regulators denying the project a water-quality permit last year. The port, which would handle up to 44 million tons of coal per year, has been the center of a heated debate over whether a coastal state can deny inland states the ability to use the coast for exporting. But Washington officials argue that coal exportation would cause “significant and unavoidable” harm to local water and air quality. The move is just the latest that pits the Trump administration’s Big Coal agenda against states looking to build a clean energy future. Just last week, U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke suggested using West Coast military sites to export coal to avoid the state approval it knew it wouldn’t get.

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