From his solar panel manufacturing facility in Marysville, Wash., Gary Shaver can see and hear passing coal trains.
"The tracks are maybe a block away, and this is not a Texas block," said Shaver, president of Silicon Energy, LLC.
To get to and from his factory, workers and clients have to cross those tracks, which may soon become heavily trafficked if proposed Pacific Northwest ports are given the go-ahead and begin exporting coal to China.
Meanwhile, China continues to ship solar panels to the U.S.
In his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, President Barack Obama called for the U.S. to become a world leader in harvesting renewable resources -- both to promote energy independence and to battle global warming. According to White House documents, he wants to double the country's wind, solar and geothermal energy generation by 2020.