I am not defending the rights of oil companies and their relentless pursuit of profits as much as I am of the right of the Port of Olympia to pursue economic development opportunities for the people of Thurston County.
For more than 100 years people have worked at the port to support their families, and thankfully, since 1922 it has been publicly owned. Public ports were created as a protection against railroad monopolies’ extortion of farmers and producers, yet preserving the waterfront as a place of commerce.
Port Commissioner Sue Gunn, an avowed environmentalist, has no regard for the port’ s mission to create economic development if it does not agree with her definition of what is climate friendly. If we had an economy founded on renewable energy, her agenda of closing the port to the movement of ceramic proppants used in oil and natural gas extraction, would make sense. We don’t, unfortunately our economy still runs on coal, oil and gas.
By rejecting Rainbow Ceramics, Sue Gunn has taken a step toward closing down our marine terminal on the basis of her disdain for fossil fuels. Closing our port would be an economic disaster for our region causing the loss of hundreds of family wage jobs that we would likely never get back.