A large majority of voters in Washington now support a proposal to build a coal export terminal in Longview, Wash., according to a November poll taken by public affairs firm G2 Public Strategies.
The poll conducted among 400 likely voters statewide asked respondents whether they favored or opposed the proposed project to convert an unused industrial site alongside the Columbia River for shipping coal abroad, also known as the Millennium Bulk Terminal.
Nearly 56% of respondents said they favored the proposal, including 29.2% who “strongly favor” the plan. Only 34.1% stated they were opposed to the project.
Pollsters did not shy away from using the C-word – coal – in their question, yet even in eco-hyped a plurality of King County voters are high on the Millennium proposal, 49.6% in favor compared to 44.7% opposed.
One key supporter of the Millennium Bulk Terminal proposal, the Washington Farm Bureau, greeted the poll’s findings with optimism for economic growth.
“Expanding our ability to export commodities is critical to the future wellbeing of our farmers, agriculture community and Washington’s trade economy,” said Farm Bureau CEO John Stuhlmiller. “The results of this survey demonstrate that a majority of Washingtonians understand the benefits that this infrastructure would bring to our state. Today we’re renewing our call for the timely approval of these projects.”
The approval and completion of the Longview terminal (and the proposed Gateway Pacific companion terminal near Bellingham) would not only increase Washington state’s overall export capacity, but would likely stimulate improvements to rail and marine terminal infrastructure that could benefit all exporters of goods.