Elway Poll Finds 2 to 1 Support for Proposed Export Terminals

Strong majority in Washington endorse coal export projects

A new poll shows that Washington state voters support proposed export terminals in the Northwest by a two-to-one margin.  Elway Research reports that 60 percent of Washington voters surveyed support the shipping terminals, with just 31 percent opposed. The poll has a margin of error of five percent.

“This respected, independent poll confirms that support for these important bulk commodity terminals remains strong, despite opponents’ claims to the contrary,” said Lauri Hennessey, Spokeswoman for the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports. “People understand the importance of exports and trade to our region, as well as the real impact these projects will have on our local communities through the creation of thousands of family-wage jobs and millions in tax revenue.”

These findings are consistent with other surveys conducted during the past year showing strong support for these projects including:

“I expect this independent poll may surprise some people,” said Herb Krohn, Washington state Legislative Director for the United Transportation Union (UTU). “With their media misinformation campaign, opponents of these export terminals have been doing their best to create the impression that they speak for many others. This survey confirms what we’ve known for some time – namely, that opponents represent just an extremely loud but small minority.”

“It’s not surprising to see continued strong support for these projects,” said Don Brunell, President of the Association of Washington Business.  “Washington residents understand how critical trade and exports are to our economy and that our extensive regulatory review and oversight will ensure these projects are done right. We need to grow our economy and protect our environment, and these projects will do both.” 

“These facilities mean jobs for people in Whatcom County or in Longview,” said Steve Cooper, Vice President of the Washington Farm Bureau.  “But they also mean needed investment in transportation infrastructure that will benefit export of all commodities through our ports.”

The Elway poll sampled 406 registered voters from around the state and across political parties.

The question read, “Currently, there are three proposed terminals in four different ports to be developed independently by four different companies. Potential facilities include the Bellingham ‘Gateway Pacific’ terminal; Longview ‘Millennium Bulk’ terminal in Washington state and the Morrow Pacific’ project in Oregon.  The commodities would be transported to and from the terminals by rail cars and barges, and depending on the port, would include shipments of coal, iron ore, potash, corn, wheat or grains. Generally speaking, do you support or oppose this proposal to expand ports in this region?”

The results: 37 percent “strongly support” developing the ports, 23 percent “somewhat support,” 9 percent “somewhat oppose,” 22 percent “strongly oppose,” and 10 percent “undecided.”

The latest results come as the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports is about to take to the air with a new round of radio advertisements, featuring leaders from labor and agricultural organizations voicing their support for the proposed export terminals.

About the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports
The Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports includes more than 60 businesses, labor, civic and other organizations representing nearly 400,000 individuals.  The Alliance is committed to educating the public about the economic benefits of new export terminals and coal exports in the Northwest, including thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars in revenue for schools and other community services.

Press Office for the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports
206.268.2253 | [email protected]


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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.