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BLET supports creation of coal export facility in Washington state

CLEVELAND, November 19 — The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) is supporting the building of a job-creating coal export facility in Washington state.

BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce made the announcement in a November 15 letter. He said the union is supporting the Millennium Bulk Terminal in Longview, Wash., because it is expected to create many well-paying union jobs.

“The terminal will create more than 1,000 jobs during its construction and more than 100 permanent jobs after its completion, jobs that are sorely needed at this time of continuing high unemployment,” President Pierce wrote.

The project is also expected to create new rail jobs, another key reason for the BLET’s endorsement.

“Eight trains per day will deliver coal to the terminal from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming, which is among the cleanest coal produced anywhere in the world, creating jobs for our members throughout the western United States,” he wrote. “These well-paying, union jobs are the types of jobs our economy needs and the American people want, and the creation of this facility will provide them.”

Pierce expressed confidence that the coal will be transported by rail in the safest manner possible.

“The safety record of these rail professionals who will transport this commodity is second to none,” President Pierce wrote. “The transportation of coal by freight rail is safe, clean and reliable.”

Situated along the Columbia River in Longview, Wash., the facility is expected to begin operations in 2015 and would export coal to emerging markets in Asia and beyond. According to media reports, Millennium officials expect to export about 44 million tons of coal annually from the proposed facility.

The BLET comments were submitted as part of the facility’s public review and input process. A copy of the BLET’s letter supporting the Millennium Bulk Terminal-Longview is available here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

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