Sen. Tim Sheldon implies that proposed coal terminals for Longview and Bellingham are being delayed because of conspirators’ attempts to bind the “projects with endless government bureaucracy and red tape in hopes that the investors will give up and go elsewhere.” He doesn’t identify who these persons are and what evidence he has of their conspiracy.
Sen. Sheldon also decries the state’s mismanagement of a “golden opportunity for our workers and economy.” He doesn’t specify what kinds of jobs these coal terminals will bring and how many jobs will go to Washington workers. He also doesn’t mention how many Washington jobs may be lost due to environmental impacts of coal shipments to our state.
When I first read his column, I wondered why Sen. Sheldon didn’t mention the “golden opportunity” that renewable energy development could bring to Washington. Then I read an article published on Jan. 15, 2015, by the independent non-profit Sightline Institute, www.sightline.org.
The article summarized the institute’s analysis of records from the Washington Public Disclosure Commission and from national political funding databases. The institute researched contributions from the fossil fuel industry to every elected official in the state during the last election cycle.
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The research revealed that Sen. Sheldon received more contributions from the fossil fuel industry than any other state senator.
While Sen. Sheldon may find installation of the Bellingham and Longview coal terminals to be a “golden opportunity,” the average Washingtonian may be left with nothing but “fools’ gold.”