State must consider future of trade and export infrastructure in its review of new terminal
OLYMPIA —Business and labor members of Keep Washington Competitive (KWC) are urging regulators to consider the positive economic impacts a new oil terminal would have on Washington’s overall trade and economic competitiveness.
“Trade has been, and will continue to be, the lifeblood of Washington state. Projects like the Vancouver Energy terminal will ensure more family-wage jobs and continued export growth, which benefits our entire state,” said Lee Newgent, executive secretary, Washington Building & Construction Trades Council and KWC board member. “Washington state’s economic development plan must look beyond the Puget Sound region. This project will ensure development of family-wage jobs in an area of the state where we need skilled tradesmen and women to power our economy.”
Larry Brown, legislative and political director for IAM&AW District Lodge 751, said the terminals are a vital source of new family-wage jobs for Southwest Washington.
“Family-wage jobs fuel our local economies. They help families send their kids to school, eat out at restaurants and shop at local stores. So in addition to helping strengthen our global trade economy, they also help build our local communities by creating the kind of jobs that provide long-term, stable employment,” said Brown. “The Machinists support Vancouver Energy because it means jobs for our workers, and for others in the local communities.”
Tuesday marked the first day of hearings on the Port of Vancouver terminal project, which is expected to bring an estimated $2 billion to the local economy.
“Investments in Vancouver’s rail-to-marine oil terminal stand to benefit everyone in Washington by bolstering the state’s trade and export infrastructure,” said Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business and an advisory board member with KWC.
“Washington state continues to be the most trade-dependent state in that nation, a status we will not likely hold onto if we do not continue investments in our ports, rail, maritime and other key trade infrastructure. We hope that regulators will consider the bigger picture in their review of the Vancouver Energy Terminal, and the other terminals currently proposed in our state. You cannot build a 21st century trade economy on 20th century infrastructure. Other states and countries are busy making the necessary investments,” added Johnson.
“We need to do the same and protect our global trade status by investing in our ports.”