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FILE - In this Wednesday, July 31, 2013, file photo, a worker levels the coal on a freight train in Taiyuan in northern China's Shanxi province. Coal has been the dominant fuel for power generation for a century because it is cheap, plentiful, and easy to ship and store. But it emits a host of pollution-forming gases and soot particles, and double the greenhouse gas emissions of its closest fossil fuel competitor, natural gas.

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Editorial: Elusive answers

All or nothing seems to be the way most people view the coal issue these days. Public hearings on the subject, specifically the shipping terminal in Cowlitz County, Oct. 1 in Pasco, Oct. 9 in Vancouver and Oct. 17 in Tacoma.

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