Doug Ericksen, Republican state senator and nonpartisan candidate for Whatcom County Executive, has released a copy of a letter he sent to the Whatcom County Council on Feb. 21, 2011, endorsing the Gateway Pacific Terminal project at Cherry Point.
SSA Marine of Seattle wants to build the pier to ship coal and other bulk cargoes to Asia. The idea has triggered a wave of opposition based on concerns about global warming, coal dust and increased rail traffic through Bellingham.
Ericksen said he still supports the project “as long as SSA lives up to the commitments they are making.”
Here is the press release from Ericksen:
State Senator Doug Ericksen made public today a letter of support for the Gateway Pacific Terminal project at Cherry Point that he sent to the Whatcom County Council.
The letter was sent to the Whatcom County Council on February 21, 2011. The letter stresses the need for jobs in Whatcom County and also highlights Ericksen’s commitment to environmental protection of the region.
“After meeting with proponents of the Gateway Pacific Terminal and discussing their commitment to an environmentally sensitive project that protects the residents of Whatcom County, I wrote a letter of support for the project,” Ericksen said.
“I stand by my support of this project as long as SSA lives up the commitments that they are making. Working together we can maximize the long-term benefit to our community.” Ericksen said.
The text of the letter follows:
February 21, 2011
Whatcom County Council Members
Whatcom County Courthouse
311 Grand Avenue, Suite 105
Bellingham, WA 98225
To Whatcom County Council Members,
Sustainable long-term industrial development is important to the economic stability of Whatcom County.
The portions of Cherry Point in Whatcom County zoned for heavy industry can provide needed long-term jobs in our region, increase our industrial tax base, and improve the lives of the people living in the region.
It is important that we move forward with the current SSA proposal for responsible development of the Gateway Pacific Terminal Project.
I look forward to working with all interested parties to insure that this long-term economic engine for our region is balanced with our strong commitment to environmental protection and our need for infrastructure development that will increase local mobility.
My office and my staff are ready to provide assistance to participating entities.
Senator Doug Ericksen
42nd Legislative District
(End press release)