To accommodate region’s growth, Paine Field should be part of the flight plan
By Seattle Times editorial board, September 19, 2015, The Seattle Times
Sea-Tac International Airport is the fastest-growing major airport in the country, leaping ahead of its growth forecasts. It’s projected to reach maximum capacity in 2034 — or sooner if its recent, torrid growth continues.
Last year, the number of passengers boarding and disembarking airplanes grew 7.7 percent to 37.5 million, a rate more than double the national average. Just through this July, it’s up another 13.5 percent.
Adding airport capacity — and making sure we don’t get stuck waiting on the tarmac like we are on the freeway — is not a far-off problem. Regional leaders may take a decade or more to reach a consensus on where and how to add additional capacity. Navigating inevitable legal challenges and building that capacity might add another decade to the schedule.
Commercial air service may return to Moses Lake
By Robert P. Monteleone, September 21, 2015, Columbia Basin Herald
Port of Seattle CEO Theodore J. Fick talked about efforts to restore passenger air service to Moses Lake this week during the Grant County EDC’s board meeting.
Fick said he’s been in talks with one airline interested in using smaller aircrafts for their Moses Lake service as an option for the rural area. He said he expects an announcement to be made “before year end,” and service to Seattle and other connecting flights could be restored “probably in March.” Commercial air service stopped in 2007 because of the end to a federal air service subsidy, according to a 2009 Columbia Basin Herald article. Service was restarted in 2009 between Moses Lake and SeaTac through SkyWest Airlines, of St. George, Utah, but ended about a year later.
China staking $5.2B methanol venture in state
By Hal Bernton, September 21, 2015, The Seattle Times
A Chinese-backed joint venture is planning to invest $5.2 billion in Washington state to develop plants that would convert large volumes of natural gas into methanol at the ports of Kalama, in Cowlitz County, and Tacoma.
The methanol would be shipped to China and used as a feedstock for a plastic industry that has been rapidly expanding to meet the demands for consumer goods.
Port of Longview candidates differ on taxes, energy projects
By Marissa Luck, September 22, 2015, The Daily News
Port commissioner candidate Tony Filippello announced his support of the proposed $800 million oil refinery project at the Port of Longview Monday, highlighting the project’s potential for economic development in Cowlitz County, while his opponent Jeff Wilson said the public didn’t have enough information about the project yet for him to make a call.
“I believe this is a good economic footprint for our community,” Filippello said at a candidate forum Monday night at Canterbury Park, a retirement community in Kelso. The two port commissioner hopefuls debated taxes, energy projects, parks, airports and more at the forum, while attempting to paint a picture of what the future Port of Longview could look like under their leadership.
Washington state rules target greenhouse gases
Becky Kramer, September 22, 2015, The Spokesman-Review
Some of Washington’s largest polluters will have to cut back greenhouse emissions under new rules state officials are developing.
The rules would target about 35 industrial facilities jointly responsible for 60 percent of the heat-trapping gases produced in Washington. The proposed regulation follows Gov. Jay Inslee’s failure to get a cap-and-trade system and carbon tax approved by the Legislature this year.
Plans for second rail bridge across Lake Pend Oreille put on hold
Scott Maben, September 16, 2015, The Spokesman-Review
BNSF Railway Corp. has backed off from plans to build a second span over the water at Sandpoint, saying freight volume doesn’t justify the project at this time.
The railroad last year said it wanted to add a second bridge across Lake Pend Oreille to relieve pressure on the original rail crossing, which is 110 years old, and absorb anticipated growth in rail traffic.