Recently the city of Snohomish announced that they would oppose the expansion of export terminals. This announcement comes on the heels of the city joining the Leadership Alliance Against Coal led by Seattle’s Mayor Mike McGinn. The central effort of this groups appears to be a health impact study of coal.

A health impact analysis is an odd project for local governments.  Washington has an existing, stringent environmental review process that has only just started for the terminals. The point of that process is to let science, not politics, define what issues should be studied, and then ensure those issues are adequately addressed.

Exclusively obtained emails demonstrate Mayor McGinn is seeking tax payer money to fund his unnecessary environmental review proposal. More than 300,000 dollars is being sought. And that money will be spent without any of the many checks and balances the state and federal process uses to prevent inappropriate political interference. Instead of protecting communities, this politically driven “research” is nothing more than an instrument for reelection at the expense of workers and new job opportunities for our region.

The trade and export industry is the backbone of our local economy –generating over $75 billion for our state last year alone. We have an opportunity to grow our export economy. Plain and simple, expanded exports will lead to greater industry investment, new job opportunities, and much needed revenue to the state. All this would be done through private investment, which sure beats spending more tax revenue on political grandstanding.

Our state does not have to choose between economic progress and environmental preservation, I vote we don’t let an outspoken few ruin our opportunity for both.

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