State Sen. Tim Sheldon has made pushing permitting for questionable projects one of his top goals. He calls himself a Democrat, but votes Republican.
This has been his mantra in Mason County: Give out those permits no matter how polluting the industry might be.
I can only think the reasoning is that there is so much pollution and contamination already, what difference does more make? Too bad that soft coal will be polluting its way to the dock, or would be going to countries that have little or no environmental laws or enforcement.
In his recent guest column (Dec. 11, The Olympian), he said the most important issues related to proposed export terminals in Whatcom County and Longview are "mismanaging a golden opportunity for our workers and economy," the potential investments in this state, and "the chilling message we are sending to potential investors who may wish to invest billions here."
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What are these golden opportunities, and who are these investors? Very ambiguous.
A few facts about who wants the railroad to operate and dock to be permitted. Arch Coal is a co-owner of the Longview facility and only owner of the largest proposed new coal mine in the United States, located in Otter Creek Montana. Arch Coal is in deep financial trouble. Its bonds are coming due soon, and they don't have the money to them back. They had no luck with negotiations, and Arch is close to bankruptcy.