Longview Councilman Joins Lars Larson to Discuss Local Support for MBT in Spite of Ecology’s Overreach

One of Washington’s top radio voices, Lars Larson, invited Longview City Councilman Mike Wallin to his show to discuss the Millennium Bulk Terminals project. Their conversation centered around the Department of Ecology’s recent Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) findings and its controversial implications.

“Just so people understand this, the Millennium Bulk Terminal would create 2,650 jobs and generate $5.4 million in annual tax revenue in Cowlitz County alone,” Larson noted. However, not everyone recognizes these benefits. In its SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) review, the WA Department of Ecology is attempting to mandate that Millennium mitigate 100 percent of the GHG emissions associated with the use of coal that is just moving through the Millennium project.

“They’re setting a dangerous precedent for all industry coming to Washington state,” Wallin said. “If they have their way, none of these industries will ever be built in our state again.”

Councilman Wallin continued by highlighting that the Department of Ecology’s overreaching and new use of the state’s SEPA power would have much broader implications well beyond Millennium, pointing out how outlandish it would be for Washington to start requiring aircraft manufacturers like Boeing to mitigate their foreign emissions or end use of the product that they manufacture in the state.

“The Department of Ecology has a jurisdictional boundary of Washington state, not the rest of our country, not global jurisdiction,” Wallin said. He explained that the state’s real motivation for this inappropriate review was to “shut the project down,” regardless of its economic benefits. Although Washington has no authority to regulate overseas emissions, Ecology is attempting to overextend its powers with SEPA to impede the Longview project.

However, Wallin remains hopeful that the effort to bring real growth to Washington will prevail. He thinks of the terminal project as a constructive way to clean up a languishing industrial site. “We can take something that’s worthless and create jobs and opportunity and hope for people to go back to work providing for themselves,” he said.

Listen to the full broadcast here.