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Mike Elliott, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen (BLET), Washington State Legislative Board (WSLB) February 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Mike Elliott, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen (BLET), Washington State Legislative Board (WSLB) February 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mike Elliott, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen (BLET), Washington State Legislative Board (WSLB) February 2014

2 FAST FACTS Washington State MOST Trade Dependent in America 1 in Every 4 Jobs Rely on Exports Up to 40% of All Jobs Are Trade Related Exports drive 1/6 of state’s economy In 2011, Washington State ranked 5 th in Total Value of Exports Source: Washington State Department of Commerce Source: Washington Council on International Trade

3 Background As a Trade Gateway To Asia, WA ST Plays A Vital Role In Meeting The Growing International Demand For Agriculture & Energy Products Worldwide Infrastructure Investment Needed to Upgrade Overland, Maritime Capacity & Support Important to be “Trade Diversified” while remaining “Commodity Neutral” MAP- 21 Re-Authorization Important Funding Vehicle for Infrastructure Projects

4 Adequate Funding Coupled w/ Fair, Objective, Timely, Science-Based EIS Process Needed WPPA, BLET, & other Trade Stakeholders have Expressed Concerns as to potential Negative Impact of Expanded- Scope “Programmatic” EIS Studies Keep Washington State Attractive to Private Investment and “Open for Business” to Everyone Protect Blue-Collar Job Opportunities in Heavy Industry (Rail, Manufacturing, Industrial, Maritime, etc.)

5 Maritime Cluster and the Labor Community Maritime Cluster Provides Skilled Trade Jobs Throughout The Northwest Family Wage Jobs & Benefits in Several Skilled Crafts BNSF ALONE Employs 3500 State-Wide w/ an Annual Payroll Over $248 Million Unionized Rail Industry Employs 2500+ Operating Craft Jobs State- Wide Tacoma BLET Local Division ALONE has 170+ members. That’s approx $12 million to Locomotive Engineers in Annual Wages

6 Rail Transportation Industry and Washington’s Maritime Cluster Washington Benefits from Over $100 million in Private Railroad Investment Annually. On 2/4/14, BNSF Announced a Capital Commitment of $ 5 Billion for 2014 $ 2.3 Billion Earmarked for Core Network and Related Projects Much of Capacity Expansion Will Focus on the Northern Corridor (Hi-Line)

7 Northern Rail Corridor Hi-Line Capacity Expansion Focus to Accommodate : Agriculture Products Intermodal Automotive Industrial Products Related to Crude Oil Production Bakken Oil & Gas Direct Correlation Between the Health of Rail Transportation and Growth in Maritime and Export industries. Working with Ports, Local Governments, and Private Developers, Rail Has Helped Connect Maritime Projects Beneficial to Washington’s Role as an International Trade Center

8 Staying Competitive Washington’s Ports face growing competition from Canada, from other U.S. Ports, and from the Panama Canal Harbor Maintenance Tax issue needs to be resolved While the value of WA exports is at record levels, freight rail volumes in the region remain below pre- recession figures – still capacity available Need continued investment (i.e. PPP) to preserve & grow a balance of business in all trade categories

9 Growth Opportunities Proposed Multi-Commodity Terminals to Expand Existing Port Facility In Longview, WA Create New Facility at Cherry Point, WA Represent the Single Largest Trade Investment Opportunity in the Region to Date Nearly 12,000 direct and indirect jobs $1.5 billion in private investment Research by the Washington Farm Bureau found the terminals are likely to increase export opportunities for other trade industries in Washington State

10 SAFETY FIRST Build/Update Infrastructure to Promote Highest Safety and Environmental Standards Support Broad Spectrum of Union Based Crafts and Positions Coordinate Regulatory Oversight at Federal, State, and Local Levels Support Apprenticeship/Education Programs to ensure “best practices” skill-sets are maintained and passed along to the next generation


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