Gov. Gregoire on coal trains: ‘I’m not going to invite litigation’

By | November 27, 2012 | Comments

How can Washington state become a leader in reducing carbon dioxide emissions at the same time it is considering proposals that would make it the largest coal exporter in the nation?

That’s a question that Gov. Chris Gregoire was asked repeatedly by members of the media during an event today in which she announced an executive order aimed at fighting ocean acidification, which is caused when oceans absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Gregoire said she has no plans to announce a position on coal because it could “subvert the process and the law in Washington state.”

“I’m not going to invite litigation. I’m not going to invite problems by prejudging, or coming out with a policy decision,” Gregoire said. “Rather, I’m going to let the process take place and have every Washingtonian take part in the process.”

The public can comment on the coal export proposals through several “scoping” meetings that are underway, or online. More than 2,000 people attended the first meeting, and another hearing in Seattle was postponed until Dec. 13 so it could be held at bigger venue.

Gregoire said she’s never seen people so engaged in an issue in her eight years in office. “If I make an opinion, it will end up in court rather letting the people get engaged and be informed,” she said.

TVW produced an hour long documentary about the issue, called “Coal Crossroads.”

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Categories: Coal Exports