Crosscut| News of the Great Nearby, January 24, 2013
By Floyd McKay
Eight politicians, a few agency heads and an Army general will all weigh in, but the buck stops with one man.
This is the last of a three-part series on the Gateway Pacific Terminal.
2015. That’s the earliest we’ll find out if Seattle-based SSA Marine gets to build a giant coal terminal at Cherry Point north of Bellingham, the planned launch pad for shipping some 48 million tons of coal annually to Asian power plants and factories.
The stakes are high on all sides. Approval means billions of dollars for the port’s operator (SSA Marine), supplier (Peabody Coal) and shipper (Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway). It also means that citizens and municipalities near the terminal and along the shipping route will likely face health and livability issues, and the financial challenge associated with accommodating a boom in rail and ship traffic.
In this final installment of our three-part series on the Gateway Pacific process, we’ll look at who will make the final decision to build, or not to build Gateway.