Seattle considers opposing coal-export ports

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SEATTLE (AP) -- The Seattle City Council is considering a resolution Tuesday to oppose the development of coal-export terminals in Washington state over concerns about increased train traffic and potential harm to health and the environment.

The resolution comes as the federal government is reviewing the first of at least six port facilities proposed in Washington and Oregon to ship coal from the Powder River basin of Montana and Wyoming to thirsty markets in Asia. If all the facilities are built, at least 100 million tons of coal a year could move on trains through the Northwest.

Councilmember Mike O'Brien, the resolution's sponsor, says mining and burning more coal isn't consistent with the city's goal to reduce climate change.

Project supporters say the ports would bring much-needed jobs to communities.