Pro-coal export business alliance launches in Northwest
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
A new business alliance in the Pacific Northwest is touting the vast economic benefits its members say will be brought to the Pacific Northwest along with coal export projects.
A campaign extolling the economic benefits of coal export facilities in the Northwest launched Thursday morning, the work of a new group: the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports.
The alliance, operated by the public relations firm Edelman and counting coal companies, chambers of commerce, rail companies and barge manufacturers among its members, was formed to give voice to the economic development arguments held by those in favor of proposed export facilities.
"The alliance came together because there's been a lot of press coverage about the issue and it's been coming from one direction, primarily," said Lauri Hennessey, spokeswoman for the alliance. "There's another side of the story specifically regarding how important trade is the economy."
The story that the alliance aims to tell is the one that highlights the thousands of new jobs and millions in tax revenue that the group says will be generated by coal export projects in Oregon and Washington.
The argument will be made in lawmaker offices in addition to television commercials as the group's 501c6 designation permits trade association lobbying. And it will counter the opposition's message that coal facilities are bad for the environment and that long coal trains will adversely impact the communities along the export route.
|Ongoing coverage of the NW coal export debate >>|
"The economic benefits, especially the job benefits, will be narrowly focused," said Ross Macfarlane, senior adviser for business partnerships at the Seattle-based environmental policy group Climate Solutions. "A lot of business interests are going to be seeing significant negative economic impacts."
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.