Lawmakers to Tour Coal Export Terminal along Columbia River

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Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. – Lawmakers from three states plan to tour a proposed coal export terminal along the Columbia River, as supporters tout its economic benefits in the face of resistance from environmentalists and some officials.

The pro-business group Keep Washington Competitive is sponsoring the Monday trip for legislators from Washington state, Wyoming and Montana.

The Millenium Bulk Terminals coal port in Longview, Washington would allow increased exports of the fuel that’s mined in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming.

Montana state Sen. Duane Ankney will attend the tour. The Colstrip-area Republican says he wants to highlight the port’s potential to create jobs across the Pacific Northwest.

U.S. coal sales suffered in recent years due to competition from cheap natural gas and more restrictive pollution rules for coal-burning power plants.