We’ve heard a lot of discussion about the costs and benefits of new coal export facilities in the Northwest, and there’ll be a lot more talk to come. That’s as it should be in Washington, where we are as passionate about the environment and quality of life as we are about a vibrant economy. But two factors have been largely absent from the discussions: First, the potential consequences of changing the existing rules for economic investment in the Northwest need careful review. Opponents of export facilities are advocating unprecedented changes in the environmental review process.

For starters, they want several unrelated projects to be reviewed as one.

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