Boon to economy will benefit every Washingtonian
OLYMPIA, Wash., July 31, 2015—Washington state’s voice of small business today urged the Army Corps of Engineers to complete its environmental impact statement on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point in Whatcom County.
“The EIS process is roughly 80 percent complete now, at a cost of $7 million,” wrote Patrick Connor in a letter to the Army Corps. “A final EIS is essential for permitting and mitigation decisions to be made based on sound science and all relevant data.”
If completed the Gateway Pacific Terminal would be the largest hub for transporting dry bulk commodities on the West Coast. “The public expects a fair, consistent process to be used when evaluating the potential environmental impact of major projects, like the one at Cherry Point,” said Connor’s letter to Army Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy and Lt. General Thomas P. Bostick. “No one party should have the ability to deny another its legal right to review under federal law.”
Apart from the letter, Connor added that pushes for completion of Gateway and similar projects like the Millennium Terminal in Cowlitz County will have to come exclusively from local groups, due to the total absence of leadership from Washington’s two U.S. senators and governor.
“Regrettably our state’s top three elected officials are completely under the spell of the environmental wing of their party which seemingly will not accept even scientific assurances. That faction has never cared about jobs and the economy. Their big bugaboo is about coal, which China will get somewhere else, but coal is only one dry-bulk commodity that will go through the terminals. That, however, is no matter to them. Gateway and Millennium are two perfect examples of what President Obama alluded to when he talked about ‘shovel-ready’ jobs.’ ”
America’s Voice of Small Business, NFIB has 350,000 members across the nation, including more than 8,000 members in Washington state.
For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.