Survey: 46% of Oregon voters favor coal export
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
A survey of Oregon voters found that more than 40 percent favor the export of coal via Oregon ports.
A survey of 400 statewide registered voters conducted by Moore Research of Portland found that 46 percent of those asked favor exporting U.S. coal from ports in Oregon while 31 percent are opposed to it. Another 22 percent had no opinion.
Not surprisingly, Moore found more support for coal exports outside of the Portland Metro and Willamette Valley. The strongest support for the export plans was from male Republicans.
A handful of coal export facilities are under consideration along the Columbia River and across the Northwest as demand for coal in Asia has mining companies looking for routes to get Powder River Basin coal onto ocean-bound ships.
Proponents say the facilities would provide an economic boost to the region and bring much-needed jobs to small towns.
The Moore survey found that just 35 percent of those asked recalled seeing news coverage of the controversy.
Of those surveyed, 38 percent said they had no concerns about the export facilities. Those who had concerns expressed a worry that the exported coal would be needed domestically (21 percent), concern about increased strip mining (16 percent), increased global warming (9 percent), and coal dust blowing off freight cars (8 percent). Just 2 percent said they were worried about increased rail traffic running through Oregon communities.
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.