Daines, Zinke Call on Army Corps of Engineers to Complete Environmental Study on Gateway Pacific Terminal

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and Representative Ryan Zinke (R-MT) today led a bipartisan group of sixteen Senators and seventeen House members in urging the Army Corps of Engineers to complete the required review process for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal before making any decisions that could impact the project’s future.

Daines’ and Zinke’s letters come in the wake of news that the Seattle District of the Corps may make an atypical final determination on key components of the project before completing the required Environmental Impact Study (EIS).  Such action not only threatens the future of the project, but also the ability of the Crow Tribe and Montana farmers to export their coal and grain, respectively.

This morning, Daines and Zinke met with Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy to present their letters and reiterate their concerns about the Seattle District’s potential decision.

“The Gateway Pacific Terminal will provide critical access to international markets for Montana ag and energy producers. More, it will help create thousands of good Montana jobs and help the Crow Tribe increase economic opportunity for their people,” Daines said. “I’m deeply concerned that the Corps is considering skipping critical steps of the review process for this proposal – in turn, jeopardizing the future of this job-creating project. It’s critical that the Corps maintains its commitment to completing a full and thorough review of this project and provide all stakeholders with the opportunity to make their voices heard.”

“Plain and simple, it’s wrong to skirt the Environmental Impact Study and I am proud to join Senator Daines in leading a bipartisan coalition to urge the Army Corps of Engineers to honor the process,” said Rep. Zinke. “The Gateway Pacific Terminal is expected to create thousands of jobs and new opportunities for Montana agriculture, energy, and dry goods to tap into the Pacific Rim Markets. That’s why the project has such a broad base of support. Whether it’s the Crow who will finally have access to a port to export their coal to Japan and Korea where clean coal technology is on the cutting edge, or the Building Trades workers who will have good paying jobs to provide for their families, it’s clear the Gateway Pacific Terminal is a must-build project. I will not stand idly by as the Gateway Pacific Terminal becomes the next Keystone XL Pipeline.”

The House letter can be found here. The Senate letter can be found here.

The Gateway Pacific Terminal is a proposed deep-water port in Washington State, just north of Seattle, that would create a port for Montana exporters to access markets in the Pacific Rim via a rail line.

The project is expected to create more than 4,000 jobs and has a diverse coalition of support from groups including the Crow Nation, local labor unions, business organizations, the agriculture industry, and local governments.  Dozens of letters from various groups were submitted in favor of the project and can be found here

Also signing the Senate letters are: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), James Inhofe (R-OK), Cory Gardner (R-CO), John Thune (R-SD), John Cornyn (R-TX), David Vitter (R-LA), James Risch (R-ID), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK).

House letter signers include: GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Marc Veasey (D-TX), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), David Mckinley (R-WV), Don Young (R-AK), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Raul Labrador (R-ID), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Scott Tipton (R-CO), Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Mark Amodei (R-NV).