Ore. governor wants study of coal-export impacts

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon's governor is calling on federal agencies to thoroughly evaluate the environmental impacts of coal-export projects in the Northwest.

Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber (KIHTS'-hah-bur) says the United States risks locking Asian countries into dependency on fossil fuels if it expands access to vast American coal reserves.

He sent a letter Wednesday asking federal officials to study the environmental impacts of mining coal in Montana and Wyoming, shipping it to the West Coast and burning it in Asia.

Projects are proposed for at least six ports in Oregon and Washington to ship coal to power-hungry markets in Asia. Taken together, they could mean at least 100 million additional tons of coal shipped per year to Asia.