Momentum Builds in Support of Export Terminals
April 25, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPOKANE, WASHINGTON – Spokane business, trade and policy groups are voicing their strong support for several proposed coal export terminals, while expressing concern over potential federal control on U.S. exports. Today, Greater Spokane Inc., The International Trade Alliance, and the Washington Policy Center urged the White House Council on Environmental Quality to refrain from any action that would put U.S. exporters at a competitive disadvantage to global counterparts when evaluating export proposals and facilities. The comments come in response to a recent request by Governors Inslee and Kitzhaber that federal agencies evaluate exported products based on greenhouse gas emissions.
“Exports are a critical component to economic growth. The proposed bulk terminal facilities in the Northwest are just one example of the type of investment opportunities that could be harmed by federal export controls,” said Rich Hadley, CEO of Greater Spokane Inc. “Nearly 40% of jobs in Washington can be linked to trade. I’m troubled by any effort to erect new barriers to exports that would put the U.S. at a disadvantage globally.”
The infrastructure investments generated by the terminals – which will export coal along with other commodities such as grain, potash, and timber – are gaining support among Washington’s agriculture, labor and business communities.
“From our perspective, our trading partners in Asia need access to affordable energy, and we have an opportunity to benefit by meeting that demand here. We’d much rather have these export-related jobs than see them move to Canada, or even to other U.S. ports competing with Washington,” said Matt McCoy of the International Trade Alliance. “Investments in infrastructure are key to preserving growth.”
“Meeting Washington’s long term rail goals will require substantial private investments, and this project will help meet these needs,” explained Chris Cargill, Eastern Washington director of the Washington Policy Center and ex-officio member of the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The Policy Center reiterated its support for reducing carbon emissions, but noted that policies should be based in sound science and analysis not speculation.
“We’ve been moving commodities and shipping products through Spokane and off to Asian markets for decades, making freight mobility and trade a vital part of our local economy. But determining how exports impact carbon emissions of other countries requires us to predict their policies over the next few decades – something we simply cannot do with any accuracy. Restricting export of any product – whether coal or airplanes – that might allow recipients to emit more carbon would be irrational and economically destructive to our region.”
The Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports is a non-profit trade organization that supports the proposed expansion projects at existing ports in Oregon and Washington State that will create thousands of new jobs and raise millions in tax revenue for our schools and other services. Members of the Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports include companies, labor, civic, and other organizations that understand the importance of exports and trade to the economic vibrancy of the Northwest.