February 3, 2015

Bellingham City Elders Urged to Re-examine Facts


The Northwest Jobs Alliance (NWJA) recently urged the Mayor and City Council of Bellingham to make sure they have all of the facts before reaching conclusions about the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project.  In a letter dated January 28th, NWJA Co-Chairs Brad Owens and John Huntley pointed to a major misconception about the project that the City had communicated in a January 16th letter to both of Washington's U.S. Senators.


In the City's letter to the Senators, it expressed concern that, "Increased barge traffic in the Salish Sea will bring increased risk of water pollution to critical habitat for threatened salmon species." But Owens and Huntley pointed out that the facility is not intended to service any significant barge traffic. It is instead being designed to handle U.S. export products headed for Asia aboard ocean-going freighters, not barges. One freighter can haul many time the cargo of a barge, thus requiring fewer vessels to transit the area in order to carry the same amount of cargo.


"The project's potential impacts should and will be carefully studied within the context of environmental requirements, tribal interests, the greater community good, and potential solutions should be identified and considered in good faith by all concerned..."


"As well, we encourage the affected parties to engage in discussions with one another to explore issues and solutions, as this is the only civil and reasonable thing to do.  Decisions cannot be fact-based or well-considered when people do not have, or are unwilling to look at, the full picture," said the NWJA Co-Chairs' letter to the City.


The entire letter to the City can be viewed here.


360-201-8249/ P.O. Box 2162, Bellingham, WA 98227


The Northwest Jobs Alliance promotes the growth of family-wage jobs in the context of sound environmental practice. Composed of a cross-section of the community, the Alliance will focus on supporting economic vitality and growth connected with the Cherry Point industrial area.
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