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GOP pollster: near-majority of Oregonians support coal exports

Nevertheless, a majority cite concerns about impacts

Critics of coal exports haven't yet convinced most Oregonians, according to a new poll by Republican pollster Bob Moore.

Moore Information found that 46 percent of Oregon registered voters favor exporting U.S.-mined coal through Oregon ports, while 31 percent oppose the idea and 22 percent say they don't know.

Moore also asked respondents if they had any concerns about exporting coal from Oregon ports, and, if so, what was their their top concern.

In response, 38 percent say they have no concerns; 21 percent say we need to keep U.S. coal for our own needs; 16 percent are concerned about increased strip mining to export the coal; 9 percent cite the global warming impact of other countries' use of coal; 8 percent cite coal dust blowing off rail cars; 2 percent cite railroad traffic through Oregon communities; and 6 percent cited other concerns.

Moore Information surveyed 400 registered voters in Oregon on May 16 and 17. The Portland pollster says the poll has a margin of error of 5 percent, which means the results could be off that many percentage points in either direction.