Top Washington state Newspaper: Yes to Millennium Bulk Terminals

On Sunday, May 8, the Longview Daily News published an editorial announcing its support of the hotly-debated Millennium Bulk Terminals project. The daily newspaper—with a base of more than 19,000 daily readers— issued a message that was not to be mistaken: “We stand with Millennium.”

The paper echoed support for the project alongside numerous labor groups—including the Cowlitz Economic Development Council, Kelso-Longview Building & Construction Trades Council and the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce—in underscoring the significant economic opportunities that would result from the project:

“The TDN editorial board wants to see more jobs and more investment in our community that will meet current environmental regulations — and this project does.”

The paper then calls out the Washington Department of Ecology for its efforts to derail the promising infrastructure opportunity through a bureaucratic and partisan-filled regulatory process:

“The state Department of Ecology is doing its level best to keep this project from happening with the recently published Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). It’s time for legislators and citizens to stand up to the governor and Ecology and say, ‘Enough is enough.’”

Of note, the editorial shines the spotlight on a new, unsettling precedent the DEIS sets for Millennium. Deeply embedded in the text of the nearly 4,000-page report is the Department’s requirement that Millennium submit, and fund itself, a plan to mitigate 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Perhaps most troubling is that as part of this stipulation, Millennium would be held responsible for mitigating emissions for the entire lifecycle of commodities shipped through one part of its transportation chain. The board noted:

Unbelievable…Does Boeing pay for all greenhouse gas emissions once a jet is sold? No. Does Weyerhaeuser pay for all greenhouse gas emissions once wood is shipped to China? Again, no. Does any other trans-loading company in the state pay for greenhouse gas emissions from an end to end perspective? Not that we know of.”

The Daily News’ support for Millennium is a testament to the significant and important economic opportunities this project would bring to Washington. But to utilize these benefits and position Washington as the trade leader it is, we must stop the state from overregulating and effectively eliminating these sound opportunities.

The Daily News is right: “It’s time to support the Millennium Bulk Terminals project.”