Wednesday, December 17, 2014

No Longview Rail Money in Inslee's Transport Plan/ Obama Protects Bristol Bay

Inslee transportation plan ignores Southwest Washington

Longview rail corridor among items that governor’s $12 billion transportation plan skips over  12/17/14  By Shari Phiel

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday announced a proposed $12 billion transportation package, with about half already set aside for projects the governor deemed as the “most pressing transportation needs.” But those needs apparently don’t include one considered critical to Cowlitz County....

....A recent study from the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments identified $150 million to $350 million in improvements needed to avoid congestion and spur job-creation along the waterfront from the Port of Longview to Barlow Point. The plan is considered essential for the area to deal with a projected tripling of rail traffic in that corridor in the next two decades.
With most of funding from the plan going to support existing, large projects, Brown said that means there’s no money for new projects, such as the rail corridor project.... read more here
Ed. note: why should taxpayers fund railroad profits? Let them pay their own way.

POTUS Permanently Protects Alaska's Bristol Bay from Gas, Oil Drilling 

Daily Kos  12/16/14

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama designated the pristine waters of Bristol Bay off limits to consideration for oil and gas leasing.  This action safeguards one of the nation’s most productive fisheries and preserves an ecologically rich area of the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska that is vital to the commercial fishing and tourism economy and to Alaska Native communities.
Bristol Bay is at the heart one of the world’s most valuable fisheries, helping to provide 40 percent of America’s wild-caught seafood and support a $2 billion annual fishing industry.  The beautiful and remote area is also an economic engine for tourism in Alaska, driving $100 million in recreational fishing and tourism activity every year. Bristol Bay hosts the largest runs of wild sockeye salmon in the world, and provides important habitat for many species, including the threatened Stellar’s eider, sea otters, seals, walruses, Beluga and Killer whales, and the endangered North Pacific Right Whale.
Today’s decision to withdraw the area from all future oil and gas leasing extends indefinitely a temporary withdrawal that President Obama issued in 2010 and was set to expire in 2017.  This action builds on decades of local efforts to protect Bristol Bay from oil and gas development by Alaska Native tribes and organizations, as well as local seafood and tourism businesses....   read more here

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