I think some of the most beautiful mountains, rivers and people can be found in the pacific northwest. So I was alarmed to hear about the new plans to turn many of the most beautiful parts or Oregon and Washington into corridors for the shipment of massive amounts of coal to the coast for sale, transport, and use in China and India.
Big Coal-- I mean Clean Coal-- is selling this as a jobs creator, but in reality there are very few jobs at all, and instead many harmful environmental downsides if they start using the rail lines and rivers to get their coal to the international market.
Not that long ago there were idealists who dreamt that the northwest could become Ecotopia. Today Big Coal has dreams that it could become their Coaltopia.
One good place to read more about this is a recent piece in the High Country News--