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U.S. coal producers hope to export coal from the Pacific Northwest to China. The world’s second biggest economy burns more coal than the rest of the world combined. That’s generated record levels of air pollution in China, and polluted waterways, too.
U.S. coal companies have hit hard times. Domestic demand is drying up, and global prices for coal are hitting record lows. What to do? The industry is looking across the Pacific to China for help, and is planning to build coal terminals in Washington to export coal from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the world’s second-biggest economy. But is China interested in American coal?