1. FOSSIL FUELS
Whether by river or rail, coal exporters hit local opposition in the Northwest
RAINIER, Ore. -- The grainy photograph hanging on the wall of the Ol' Pastime Tavern here recalls a time when lumber still defined the economy of the Northwest. It was taken in 1924. The tavern -- at that time still a hotel and saloon -- is perched in the foreground, flanked by smaller clapboard buildings on either side. Railroad tracks run down the main street amid piles of logs waiting for the next train. Nine decades later, those tracks still cut through the heart of town, passing the Ol' Pastime and a dozen other Rainier businesses as they skirt the southern bank of the Columbia River. Soon, they could put Rainier squarely in the path of some 30 million annual tons of coal, mined from Montana and Wyoming and bound for the Pacific and Asia.