March 5, 2018
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Vancouver Energy ends bid to build nation's biggest oil-train terminal along Columbia River

Vancouver Energy’s push to build the country’s largest oil-train terminal in Southwest Washington is over.

The company will not appeal Gov. Jay Inslee’s recent rejection of a permit earlier this year, the Seattle Times reports.

The project would have cost $210 million and processed as many as four trains a day carrying crude oil from the Bakken Shale oil fields in Montana and North Dakota. This oil was to be transferred to boats on the Columbia River, which would deliver it to oil refineries on the West Coast.

The project would have generated $2 billion in economic activity and reduced America’s dependence on foreign oil, the company said.

Vancouver spokesman Jeff Hymas told the newspaper that the company would terminate its lease with the Port of Vancouver early and donate the $100,000 in savings to nonprofits in the community.

“Our focus is on thanking our supporters who stood with us … and being able to make a positive difference through this contribution,” Hymas said.

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A Lifetime of Learning

Workforce development begins young, continues over lifetime

By AWB President Kris Johnson

We all want our kids to grow up in a state with good-paying job prospects and the training to match them.

Today, there is a laser focus by our association's membership and other groups about the need to fill the workforce pipeline with skilled, job-ready workers. There simply aren't enough workers to fill the high-tech, high-wage jobs available in our state and nation.

We're working to address that problem by advocating for robust career and technical programming in our middle and high schools, training and certificate programs for high-demand jobs at our state's community and technical colleges.

We'll be talking about those very issues at the second-annual AWB Workforce Summit on March 21 in Bellevue.

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Business World
Dealing with Debt

State needs to begin paying down its bond debt

By The Everett Herald Editorial Board

Duane Davidson, now in his second year of office, hasn't been one to pursue many policy issues with lawmakers, unlike his predecessor who outlined an ambitious tax reform proposal that earned little interest. But Davidson has taken a stand to defend against raids of the "rainy day" fund and asked lawmakers to consider using some of the additional revenue to pay down the state's bond debt, add to its "rainy day" reserves or pay more toward its unfunded pension obligations. Their choice.

"I think that money would be better spent paying down any debt, pick your debt," Davidson said.

And there's significant debt to pay down.

The state's Debt Affordability Study for 2018, released by Davidson's office, reports that the state's debt portfolio has over the course of the last 20 years grown from $6.8 billion to more than $19 billion and totals $21 billion when financing contracts are included....

Read the full editorial in The Herald
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