Bridges & Wallin: Longview’s Critical Need for Growth

The Washington state establishment has done everything it can to ignore the benefits of putting people to work on a new export terminal on the Columbia River. Amid the state’s concern about regulating emissions in other countries, it has lost sight of the amazing impact a new export terminal would have on one of its own counties.

Many groups have highlighted the economic boost this terminal will bring to the state, or the environmental advantages of providing Powder River Basin coal to nations whose energy demand will continue to grow and utilize coal as a fossil fuel. The development will also remove 219,000 tons of neglected material from the riverfront. However, the state hasn’t just been neglecting these important considerations.

The Department of Ecology has refused to recognize the crucial jobs market growth this project will bring to the Longview community.

Recently, Longview city councilman Mike Bridges and labor leader Mike Wallin authored commentary in the Seattle Times explaining southwest Washignton’s compelling interest in supporting the Millennium Bulk Terminals project on the Columbia River. “Without the tech boom that Seattle has enjoyed, our community has had to look for other economic opportunities that play to our strengths as an industrial community with access to major trade routes,” they wrote.

People who aren’t from Longview shouldn’t assume they know what’s best for the community. “We know what it means to live in a manufacturing town,” Bridges and Wallin explained, “And we support Millennium Bulk Terminals and its project in Longview because we know what it will do for us locally, and for the end-users globally of the products it plans to ship through the port.”

The authors explained Longview’s urgent need to grow employment rates and give working people a fair chance to provide for their families. “Our friends and colleagues in Longview know what’s at stake with this proposal: our future, and our children’s future.”

Read the full editorial here.