First Permit and SEPA EIS Finalized Millennium’s Proposed Terminal

This week, The Daily News in Longview reported that the deadline to appeal the critical areas permit for the Millennium Bulk Terminals project passed unceremoniously. With the passing of this deadline, MBT has now officially received its first permit for the project and the environmental impact statement (EIS) released by the state and county earlier this year is now final.

In the words of the senior environmental planner for Cowlitz County, Ron Malin, the “appeal ship has sailed.”

Millennium has worked for over five years to bring a safe, sustainable facility to Longview. The project will provide 1,000 jobs during construction and 130 permanent jobs upon completion. Once the facility is operational, it will also generate $5.9 million annually in local taxes.

CEO and President Bill Chapman told the Daily News, “We are delighted the permit and the Final Environmental Impact Statement will move forward without challenge.  This confirms the project meets Washington’s strict environmental standards. We are grateful for the outpouring of local community support that has generated a momentum toward construction.”

Read the full piece from The Daily News here.

Building Trades Reaffirms Support for Millennium Bulk Terminals

Convention resolution cites jobs, tax revenue, and economic boost for Cowlitz County

TACOMA — With 2,600 construction jobs and $37.2 million in state tax revenue on the line, members of the Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council doubled down on their support of the Millennium Bulk Terminals project. The resolution was brought forward last Thursday by the Longview/Kelso Building and Construction Trades Council as part of the state convention this week in Tacoma.

Mike Bridges, president of the Longview/Kelso Building and Construction Trades Council, said the resolution underscores the depth of support for this project.

“For more than five years, the Longview/Kelso Building and Construction Trades Council has waited in anticipation of real jobs to stem from this project at home in Cowlitz County. During this time, we’ve seen the economy take off in other parts of the state while our workers in Longview and Kelso continue to wait for work closer to home,” said Bridges. “Millennium represents a significant local investment and an excellent source of apprenticeships and training opportunities for the building and construction trades. This project is ideally located to maximize Cowlitz County’s deep water port at an existing – and refurbished – industrial area. People are eager to get to work — you can hear it in this resolution.”

The resolution approved Thursday by the convention reads as follows:

Whereas, the Longview/Kelso Building and Construction Trades Council believes that it has a duty, both as a representative of its Building Trades members and as a part of the Longview-Kelso community, to encourage local opportunities for jobs capable of supporting a family;

Whereas, the economic boom in construction and other industries found elsewhere in the state has not yet reached Cowlitz County;

Whereas, the loss of area employers such as Reynolds Aluminum and the decreases in the pulp and paper industry has caused a lack of suitable living-wage jobs;

Whereas, these losses have resulted in a decline in the tax revenue required to adequately fund our schools, parks, roads, and other essential services;

Whereas, Millennium will support more than 2,600 jobs during construction and a full-time complement of 300 family-wage positions once operations commence;

Whereas, Millennium approached the Building Trades to sign a Project Labor Agreement ensuring that the Millennium Bulk Terminals project is built Union;

Whereas, during construction Millennium Bulk Terminals will generate $37.2 million in state tax revenue and $5.9 million in county tax revenue;

Whereas, in addition to the need to use the resources that are the local hard-working men and women, the Longview/Kelso Building and Construction Trades Council also recognizes the need to maximize the resources available, such as deep water shipping capabilities and areas zoned for industrial use;

Whereas, Millennium Bulk Terminals is located on a 530-acre heavy industrial brownfield site that’s been underutilized for more than a decade and that Millennium has spent over $25 million cleaning up:

Whereas, Millennium chose to use local Union contractors for the demolition and site clean-up at the industrial brownfield beyond what is covered by the Project Labor Agreement;

Whereas, Millennium has demonstrated its intent to be a part of the community since its arrival in Longview by being actively engaged in activities that address the social and economic challenges in Cowlitz County;

Whereas, Millennium Bulk Terminals has been an active supporter and advocate for increased Career and Technical Education (CTE) in local schools;

Whereas, this community involvement and the all the potential benefits this facility will bring to the area has gained Millennium majority support in the local community;

Whereas, Millennium has gone above and beyond the local, state, and federal requirements while engaged in the permitting process; and

Whereas, applicants (such as Millennium Bulk Terminals), communities, and tradesmen and tradeswomen should not be subjected to a permitting process that has still not reached completion after over five years of evaluations, studies, meetings, hearings, and reviews because such a timeline discourages true public involvement, erodes predictability for local contractors and their skilled craft workers, and dissuades private infrastructure investments and the community benefits they provide;

Now therefore be it resolved, that the Washington State Building and Constructions Trade Council reaffirms its strong support for Millennium and pledges to continue to work in all possible ways for the successful permitting and construction of the Millennium Bulk Terminals project; and

Be it further resolved, the Washington State Building and Constructions Trade Council calls on all affiliated Locals and members to participate in all public review processes to push for a reliable permitting timeline that will show businesses they can flourish in Washington State, and also to advocate for the high environmental standards, the quality jobs, and the local and state revenues this project will bring; and

Be it finally resolved, that the Washington State Building and Constructions Trade Council will continue to communicate their support to Governor Jay Inslee, the Washington State Legislature and Congressional Delegation, statewide elected officials, and relevant federal, state and local government agencies.

About the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports
The Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports is a non-profit trade organization that supports new export projects in Oregon and Washington state that will create thousands of new jobs and raise millions in tax revenue for our schools and other services. For more, visit www.createnwjobs.com.

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General Electric Innovating For Anticipated Windfall of Coal Demand

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that General Electric will expand production of coal technology as a result of increased demands for the resource. Notably, GE will upgrade existing power plants in Europe and the United States in addition to building new plants in China and Southeast Asia, where demand for coal is growing quickly.

The piece quotes Andreas Lusch, chief executive of GE’s steam power-systems business, who said he expects, “a quite-stable if not increasing amount of installations in coal.” GE anticipates coal to not only remain a relevant part of their business but to expand significantly. The Journal’s piece also quotes Ganesh Bell, chief digital officer for GE’s power division who stated, “We’re extending investment in lifespan.”

Multiple factors are at play in the rising demand for coal exports. Southeast Asia continues to be a hotbed for industrial growth. The effects of declining coal prices, driven by a supply glut created by overproduction in China and elsewhere, are quietly being nullified by demand in developing economies across Southeast Asia like India. In fact, just a couple of months ago BHP Billiton, the world’s largest exporter of coking coal, increased its production in anticipation of further demand. GDP growth in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam is projected to rise about a third- to $3 trillion- by 2020. Southeast Asia is growing, and those countries will need sufficient fuel.

Nathan Lim, head of research for Morgan Stanley’s wealth management division, stated recently in Bloomberg Markets, “People have been so used to believing that commodities was a China story, and that with China decelerating where’s the growth going to come from? That incremental demand is coming from the emerging markets, and that’s the part people don’t have their head around.”

The global market for coal is by no means contingent on one country. Often synonymous with industrial growth, coal will continue supporting the next generation of economic players as they emerge in the East. GE’s recognition of this trend should be seen as a vote of confidence in the industry.

As critics of coal exports attempt to diminish use through political messaging, it is encouraging to see General Electric, an American icon and titan of industry, recognizing the need for this important resource in nations whose economic prowess is on the rise.  Our domestic economy was built on coal-fired steel. It now towers over the world. Southeast Asia is waiting to follow suit, and U.S coal producers should be motivated over the chance to make that ambition a reality.

State of the State: Misguided Tax Plan an Attack on Washington’s Economy

State of the State: Misguided Tax Plan an Attack on Washington’s Economy

 

Gov. Inslee’s massive proposed tax increases sidetrack support of state’s economic driver: Trade

 

SEATTLE — Governor Inslee’s 2015 State of the State address included plans to impose a punitive new tax on Washington’s largest employers, labeling them ‘polluters’.  The Alliance for NW Jobs & Exports today expressed disappointment in the governor’s priorities of penalizing the economic drivers of our state.

 

“With Washington state’s employment rate finally moving in the right direction, now is not the time to risk our economic future with a job-killing cap-and-trade scheme widely thought to be untenable,” noted Kathryn Stenger, spokesperson for the Alliance for NW Jobs & Exports. Governor Inslee’s 2015 State of the State address included plans to impose a punitive new tax on Washington’s largest employers – including such premiere education institutions as the UW and WSU – whom the Governor dismisses as ‘polluters’.

 

“The proposals in his address ring consistent with the governor’s favorite climate stump speech”, continued Stenger,  “Instead of a narrow political agenda, the governor would do well by the residents of Washington to focus on real transportation solutions that will enhance our state’s place in the world as an export leader instead of damaging it,”.

Gateway Pacific Supporters Speak Out; A Seattle Times Editorial Highlights Critical Role of Northwest Export Projects

Supporters say “YES” to Gateway Pacific Expansion

 

The Whatcom County Planning Commission held a town hall meeting in Bellingham in early October – the open forum offered local residents, business owners and union representatives the chance to provide their input on the Gateway Pacific Terminal project, and what they believe its development will mean for their families and local community.

 

By an overwhelming three to one majority, those who came to the hearing spoke out in support of Gateway – specifically, the central role it plays in creating much-needed jobs, and expanding trade opportunities for the entire region.

 

One collective concern from those in attendance echoed the need for new, family-wage jobs, so that younger generations – their children and grandchildren – won’t have difficulty finding good-paying work opportunities. We were greatly encouraged by the broad community support from local residents and union leadership demonstrated at this meeting.

 

In other news – don’t forget to watch our new video “Good Neighbors” on the critical role Gateway will play to ensure landlocked states like Wyoming, Idaho and Montana can remain competitive in a global marketplace.

 

Japanese Energy Expert Says Coal Exports Vital to Environmental Goals and Regional Stability in Asia

 

In case you missed it – a leading Japanese energy expert was featured in the Seattle Times discussing Asian energy demand, and the importance of U.S. coal exports in meeting Japan’s energy and environmental objectives.

 

The author Shoichi Itoh is a senior analyst at Japan’s Institute of Energy Economics, a part of the Japanese government’s Department of Commerce. Itoh also participated alongside the Alliance at the National Bureau of Asian Research’s Pacific Energy Forum, held this past April. His take on exports:

 

– Demand abroad for affordable energy, and coal in particular, is growing. Itoh states, “Asian economies continue to accelerate, creating insatiable energy demand.” And the percentage of coal in the energy mix utilized by Asian countries is expected to account for more than 60 percent of developing Asian countries’ energy portfolios.

 

– Asian countries, including Japan, are actively working with the U.S. to use coal in more efficient and sustainable ways. Commercialized clean combustion methods, economically viable and available for use today, are estimated to boost thermal efficiency from 38 percent to 42 percent (supercritical grade) and 45 percent (ultra-supercritical grade). Countries in Asia have already invested considerably in these new technologies.

 

As the author aptly points out, “It’s a reality that cannot be wished away. Stopping U.S. coal exports is not the solution. But by maximizing effective and efficient use, political leaders can meet geopolitical and environmental concerns, with an economically feasible, realistic approach.”