I have many thoughts on the ruling that has come down concerning the Kalama methanol plant. Regardless if you agree with the project, the organization used the process presented to them by our great state. When that process is used as a tool to stop economic growth, that is sinister.
NW Innovation Works is attempting to grow its business, that is obvious. What is also obvious, this facility will bring family wage jobs and economic stability, not only to Kalama, but the entire region. This company is doing everything in its power to satisfy the needs of many regulators, advocacy groups and surrounding communities. I believe the larger picture is being missed by many.
Some are probably cheering for this decision, but the majority should be angered, regardless of an opinion for or against the project. Government is once again attempting to change the rules halfway through the process; rules and guidelines that are set forth to help businesses, small and large, navigate the red tape that has been installed. Many elected, myself included, run on the promise to create change, growth and sustainable futures. How is stopping this project fall inline with that statement?
I fear the next move for the city of Woodland looks just as bleak. As our city attempts to create sustainability through development, who will step up to stop it? What state agency will "bend" the rules in favor of the state of Seattle? Who is next after NW Innovation Works? The city of Woodland, the Port of Longview, or the small business owner attempting to open a second location?
Rules and procedures are put in place to allow reasonable development to occur. When the process is used correctly, it works. Compromise is reached. When projects are met with opposition at a higher level, look out, big brother is grabbing all the toys and leaving the sandbox. I am outraged by the lack of accountability of state agencies when changing the rules during the process, a process they insist we all use.
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