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With a declining market for coal in the United States, the coal industry wants to export its product to China, where demand is bigger than ever. What would rail traffic and new port construction mean for the environment and the “clean economy” of the Pacific Northwest? What about global warming? Also, protests fan across Egypt on the anniversary of revolt, and the author of a new book is creating a stir about the Church of Scientology.

Banner image: BNSF coal train waiting to unload. Photo by Stephen Rees

Making News Protests Fan across Egypt on Anniversary of Revolt 7 MIN, 45 SEC

In Egypt on the second anniversary of the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, Tahrir Square is full of new protesters against his successor, Mohammed Morsi. David Kirkpatrick, Cairo Bureau Chief for the New York Times, has an update.

David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times (@ddknyt)

Main Topic China and the Future of Coal in America 30 MIN, 13 SEC

The US is getting "greener" as coal is replaced by natural gas, which is cleaner and cheaper, but that doesn't mean the coal industry's going away. Its salvation might lie in exports. Massive coal deposits on federal land in Wyoming and Montana have already been leased to companies with plans for export to China. That's created furious opposition to mile-long coal trains and entire new ports proposed for construction on the Pacific coast. What would it mean for local pollution and global warming?  Will the principal benefits go to the public or the coal industry?

Joel Connelly, SeattlePI.com (@joelconnelly)
Lauri Hennessey, Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports
KC Golden, Climate Solutions (@climatesolution)
Frank Wolak, Stanford University

Reporter's Notebook Scientology and Hollywood 12 MIN, 58 SEC

book.jpgWhen L. Ron Hubbard founded Scientology, he hoped to recruit such figures as Walt Disney, Marlene Dietrich and Jackie Gleason. A new book reports on the church and its relationship with Hollywood. Kim Masters, host of KCRW's The Business, recently sat down with Lawrence Wright, a Pulitzer Prize winner whose latest book is Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief.

(In response to our request for comment, the Church of Scientology sent a four-page letter saying that Wright's book is "riddled with mistakes, unfounded statements and utterly false and unsupportable facts."  The complete interview is available at KCRW.com/Scientology, where you can also find a transcript and the full text of the church's letter.)

Kim Masters, host, 'The Business' (@kimmasters)
Lawrence Wright, New Yorker magazine (@lawrence_wright)

Going Clear

Lawrence Wright


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