• Cantwell, FAA Announce Groundbreaking Hub to Launch New Era in Jet Biofuels Development

    SEATTLE – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the creation of a national Center of Excellence for jet biofuel research, to be headquartered at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

    The Center of Excellence in Alternative Jet Fuels and Environment will be based at WSU with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Washington among 16 university partners. The Center will bring together research universities and industry leaders to focus on developing and testing aviation biofuels. The Center of Excellence will work to develop ‘drop in’ aviation biofuel that meets industry standards and is cost-competitive with current jet fuel.

    America’s aviation economy supports 10 million jobs and $1 trillion in economic activity. But America’s leadership in aviation is threatened by the increasing cost and volatility of jet fuel. Fuel is the top cost to airlines, making up 35 percent of operating costs. Jet fuel costs have risen 267 percent over the last 11 years, causing airlines to shut down routes and increase ticket prices.

    “This landmark investment will help the jet biofuels industry take flight,” Cantwell said. “From farms to airports, green jet fuel means jobs for Americans. This investment impacts every sector of the American economy. It secures and grows our aviation competitiveness by controlling the costs of jet fuel, protects our environment by reducing carbon emissions, and keeps our nation safer by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. And this investment will support aerospace jobs. More than 10 million Americans work in our aviation economy and this is Center will provide the innovation needed to support jobs and keep America ahead in the global aviation economy.”

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  • Mayor Jack Durney Comments on Wild Olympics Meeting

    I am proud that our Grays Harbor Mayors’ group has organized a public meeting to discuss the “Wild Olympics” issue in a thoughtful and calm environment. It will be held on Thursday, May 10 at 6PM in the Bishop Center at Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen. It is designed for the rest of us: those who are not proponents or opponents – just folks who see this as an important issue and want to learn more about it. The signs, campaigning, and hysteria that sometime accompanies any kind of political discussion in our country these days will be left in the parking lot.

    Inside, “the rest of us” will be able to hear a 30 minutes presentation from the Wild Olympics group, a 30 minute presentation from the Working Wild Olympics group, and then 20 minutes from Congressman Dicks’ and Senator Murray’s staffs to discuss the status of proposed legislation. Following a break, we will have two microphones available for questions to be asked from the audience.

    The mayors of Grays Harbor encourage as many as possible – particularly other elected officials who are being asked to support or oppose the effort via resolutions – to attend to participate in a thoughtful discussion of something that is important to the way of life here in our own back yard.

    Jack Durney
    City of Hoquiam
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  • Bill Represents Major Action by U.S. Senate to Help Puget Sound

    OLYMPIA – The Federal Government today took a major step to augment the monumental collaborative efforts already underway to restore Puget Sound by 2020. The Puget Sound Recovery Act, sponsored by Senator Maria Cantwell and co-sponsored by Senator Patty Murray, is designed to strengthen cleanup of the Puget Sound. It won the approval Wednesday of the key Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works (EPW).

    “As the second largest estuary in the nation and the core of our region’s identity and prosperity, it is absolutely critical to restore and preserve this important body of water for generations to come,” Senator Cantwell said. “With the passage of the Puget Sound Recovery Act, the ongoing cleanup of Puget Sound will benefit significantly from the creation of a federal grant program to support a more comprehensive effort and complement the great work of the Puget Sound Partnership. I am proud that with the committee’s passage, we have taken a significant step toward restoring Puget Sound and protecting everything from animal habitats, to tourism, to our precious environment and our regional economy.”

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  • Murray, Cantwell Unveil Legislation to Support American Ports

    SEATTLE, Wash. – On Thursday, August 15th, U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani, and Port of Tacoma CEO John Wolfe held a press conference at the Bell Harbor Conference Center rooftop deck to announce new legislation that will significantly strengthen American ports, including many in the Pacific Northwest.  The Harbor Maintenance Tax, a long-established tax on imports that funds the operation and maintenance of America’s large and small ports, is not being fully collected.  Because of that, American ports, which drive job creation and anchor our export economy, can’t make the infrastructure investments they need to support American businesses. Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell are addressing this threat to America’s maritime economy with legislation to create a more equitable playing field for American ports. 

    Specifically, the Maritime Goods Movement Act for the 21st Century would:

    • Repeal the Harbor Maintenance Tax and replace it with the Maritime Goods Movement User Fee, the proceeds of which would be fully available to Congress to provide for port operation and maintenance.  This would double the amount of funds available for American ports, which will help our export economy thrive.
    • Ensure that shippers cannot avoid the Maritime Goods Movement User Fee by using ports in Canada and Mexico.
    • Set aside a portion of the user fee for low-use, remote, and subsistence harbors that are at a competitive disadvantage for federal funding.
    • Create a competitive grant program using a percentage of the collected user fees to improve the U.S. intermodal transportation system so imported goods and goods for export can more efficiently reach their intended destinations.
    • Pay for expanded infrastructure investments by closing loopholes that allow the largest oil and gas companies in America to receive billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies every year, even though they enjoy profits in excess of $100 billion annually.
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  • New Satsop Company to Employ 150

    SATSOP, Wash. – A company planning to rennovate the closed Boise-Cascade plant in Satsop will employ 150.

    NewWood Manufacturing creates wood-plastic composite building materials, and plans to operate the plant 24 hours a day. Beginning with crates for fruit bins, the company plans to expand to a worldwide market, combining waiste wood fibers and recycled plastics.

    NewWood purchased the closed plant with the help of Enterprise Cascadia, whos name may sound familiar, they played a big part in helping to fund the 5.5 million dollar wind turbine project with Coastal Community Action Program.

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  • Murray Helps Pass Legislation that Includes Millions for Olympic Peninsula, Bill to Be Signed by President Obama

    (Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) helped to pass vitally important spending legislation that includes millions in funding she secured for projects throughout the Olympic Peninsula. The funding is included in the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill which passed the Senate by voice vote today. Now that the Omnibus has passed the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, it will be sent to the President for his signature. President Obama has signaled that he will sign the bill.

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