Raetzloff column, a meaningful business assessment

Aug 29, 2013

Thank you to Tim Raetzloff for his 8-22-13 Guestview in the Beacon, 31 years of growth in the Washington economy.

This column described Washington’s economy 31 years ago as having no local company considered among the 50 most valuable in the U.S., none included in the Dow Jones Industrial average.

In contrast, today there are 28 companies in Washington with a market capitalization over a billion dollars, nine worth more than $10 billion, wrote Mr. Raetzloff.

Those nine -- Microsoft, Amazon.com, Starbucks, Costco, Paccar, T-Mobile, Weyerhaeuser, Nordstrom, Expeditors International are worth more than the entire state in the early 1980s.

These companies are known for environmental concern, family wage jobs, are moving the state of Washington forward to a sustainable economy and a healthy environment.

The question of Washington state becoming a major terminal site for export of coal can only be a major step backward for our economy, communities and the global climate.

The Department of Ecology has begun a two-year study of the broader environmental impacts of coal trains to the air, water and ground, the public health.

Given the limited job creation of mechanized coal terminals, compared to the companies above, why would we even consider taking a few coal jobs for a gigantic risk to the health, the NW beauty and economic well being in our state?

The Longview, Wash., proposed coal terminal project by Millennium Bulk Terminals is scheduled for a scoping meeting Thursday, Oct. 17, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Tacoma Convention Center.

This event invites public concerns and is one of the opportunities to propose issues for study in the Environmental Impact Statement. The Washington State Dept. of Ecology website provides updates and further information.

Let’s make our recent past, prologue to a healthy future, leading our country towards a sustainable economy, a quality environment that enriches all our lives.

Dianna Maish


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