The Daily News published a striking editorial last week, criticizing the Department of Ecology’s (DOE) unprecedented review of Millennium Bulk Terminals’ project in Longview. The article cast significant doubt on DOE’s motivations, and highlighted disturbing anti-growth bias in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
“From the start of the permitting process, the state Department of Ecology was against the Millennium project,” they wrote. “Anytime it takes five years to get a final environmental impact statement completed it’s pretty clear the state dragged its feet at every turn.” This tedious delay is just one way the state has been impeding the project and undermining economic growth.
The editorial also illustrated how “the state changed the rules in the middle of the game” by requiring Millennium to mitigate 100 percent of foreign emissions on its exports, instead of the 50 percent mitigation required in the original EIS draft. The authors explained the inequity of this mandate, noting that no other local industry is so harshly regulated. Punishing businesses who provide fuel puts them on unequal footing with companies that aren’t required to mitigate foreign emissions.
The state must make decisions based on the rule of law, not on extralegal, personal ideologies. For our economy to thrive, the state must treat all development proposals with consistent respect for the law. Unpredictable decisions like this create uncertainty in the market, driving away companies who want to bring jobs to our state.
Read the full editorial here.