Alliance Reaction to Gateway Pacific Terminal Scoping Decision

Today the Washington State Department of Ecology and Whatcom County announced their decision on the EIS scope for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, located at Cherry Point, Washington. With this announcement, Washington state has set a new precedent that could potentially interfere with international commerce laws protecting rail and trade and discourage new business investment in the state.

Below are statements from the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports, National Association of Manufacturers, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, Association of Washington Business, United Transportation Union Washington State Legislative Board and the Washington Farm Bureau.

Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports Statement
“Today’s announcement represents an unprecedented treatment of rail and exports in Washington state and could have far-reaching repercussions that should concern anyone who cares about trade – of all kinds of products. This decision has the potential to alter the Northwest’s long and historic commitment to expanding trade, which today supports 4 in every 10 jobs in Washington state.”
Lauri Hennessey, spokeswoman for the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports

Statement of National Association of Manufacturers
“This decision sets an unnecessary precedent for manufacturers that could make it harder to obtain approvals for almost every product we export, from grains to airplanes,” said Ross Eisenberg, vice president of energy and resources policy for the National Association of Manufacturers. “Our members are ready to lead Washington state and the entire manufacturing economy out of recession, but the expanded permitting process — well beyond what the Army Corps has already declared is legally permissible — delays this opportunity.”

Statement from Pacific Merchant Shipping Association
“The prime driver of our state economy is trade. In fact, more than four in 10 jobs in our state are dependent on it.  Projects, which would expand maritime export capacity for U.S. producers, are the subject of an unprecedented and expanded regulatory review. This expanded review casts doubt on Washington State’s ability to invest in any major port infrastructure projects.  Trade is a driver for our economy, and for our ports and waterfronts and now is not the time to undermine our opportunities to expand trade.”
John McLaurin, president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA)

Statement from the Association of Washington Business
“We are troubled by the unprecedented nature of Ecology’s decision and the negative signal it sends to anyone, including employers, who are looking to cite a major project or expand their presence in Washington state,” said Association of Washington Business President Don Brunell.

Statement from the United Transportation Union Washington State Legislative Board
“Today’s announcement is a disappointment for our community and ignores the rigorous environmental review process already in progress.  The economic downturn has hit our communities hard and we are hurting for good middle-wage jobs.  
– Herb Krohn, Washington State Legislative Director for the United Transportation Union

Statement from the Washington Farm Bureau
“What’s being requested by the Department of Ecology moves us into uncharted territory – reviews like this associated with port terminal developments have never been proposed anywhere in the country. It could have a chilling effect on Eastern Washington and agriculture communities that use our state’s rail system and port facilities to move our products to market.”
John Stuhlmiller, Chief Executive Officer, Washington Farm Bureau

Press Office for the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports
206.268.2253 |

It’s time to create good jobs. It’s time to move forward with new exports.

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Get the Facts

$25 million

According to data provided by developers and the ports, the terminals would generate a total of roughly $25 million in taxes annually.



Estimates suggest that thousands of permanent, family-wage jobs will be created through project development, with thousands of additional jobs generated in connected and supporting industries



The number of coal dust complaints received by the Northwest Clean Air Agency, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and Spokane Clean Air Agency, despite coal trains traveling through the region for years.


Less than 1%

Locomotives are the most fuel efficient means of ground transportation in America, accounting for less than 1% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.


$1.5 billion

The amount of private investment developers of the three terminals have pledged to build projects to full capacity.