Today marks the last and final scoping meeting in Seattle for the proposed coal export terminals in the Northwest. It is an important chance for community members to stand up for this project before federal and state agencies determine its future. The meeting will take place at the Washington State Convention Center, Ballroom 6F between 4-7 PM (PST) today.
In Washington State, residents face an 8.5 percent unemployment rate with some of the hardest hit sectors being the local shipping, and construction industries. Residents in the Northwest know they need new jobs opportunities – that is why the Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports is fighting to approve five proposed coal export terminals in the Northwest.
These projects would create thousands of new jobs and generate millions in local tax revenues, adding much-needed funds to state and local budgets for schools and other vital services like emergency responders. This doesn’t include local income tax revenues and other benefits of getting thousands of people back to work in well-paying jobs.
Most Washingtonians are in support of these projects. A public opinion poll released last month by the Brotherhood Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, the United Transportation Union, the Oregon State Building, and Construction Trades Council showed that local residents support the planned export terminal by 2 to 1 margin. These results mirror the poll findings from July by Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) that also showed 2 to 1 support for the terminals.
The Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports represents a coalition of labor and business, Republicans and Democrats, all of whom have come together to represent more than 346,203 workers and 40,458 businesses to support job creation and economic growth through these proposed coal export terminals. One proposed project, the Gateway Pacific Terminal, located near Bellingham, would create thousands of jobs. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the state Department of Ecology and Whatcom County are currently reviewing the proposal and are hosting a series of meetings to determine what they should consider in their environmental impact study.
Also, an op-ed ran today in The Seattle Times from NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and Washington State Legislative Director for the United Transportation Union about the importance of coal-export facilities to the economy and jobs. Check out the piece here. With our economy facing so many challenges and hurdles we need to take advantage of the opportunities we have to expand commerce and create jobs and do so while protecting the environment.
You can join the Alliance today to have your voice heard to help create thousands of jobs for local communities in the Northwest.