An open Letter to the Seattle Times Editorial Board June 30,2015
Your recent Editorial, GiveMaritime industry a fair hearing on Shell’s oil‐rig lease, is appreciated by the Washington Maritime Federation, representing maritime businesses and the men and women of the working waterfront.
“Washington State’s maritime sector is a global leader in sustainability,” said Joshua Berger of the Washington Maritime Federation. “As new opportunities emerge, it is important that the sector remains well coordinated in the adoption of industry-leading voluntary standards, best practices and emerging technologies to help build a more sustainable future.”
The controversy surrounding the Port of Seattle’s lease with Foss Maritime has revealed a troubling reality about how city officials view one of the most important industries in the region - maritime. We agree it is insulting that the Mayor believes the people who earn their living on the waterfront have no standing to be “interveners” in Foss’ appeal of the city’s permit denial, while granting that standing to environmental groups.
The city’s latest attack sends yet again another chilling signal that special interest groups regardless of standing will continue to take priority over maritime jobs that meet or exceed safety, security and environmental standards. This precedent can only empower special interest groups that want to see maritime activity curtailed.
As the maritime industry continues to pump $30 Billion dollars into our state’s economy each year, we are working intentionally on providing family wage jobs, modeling low impact sustainable design and maintaining good relationships with our partners and neighbors. We are still open for business, despite what the city of Seattle and much of the media optics seem to imply.
Thank you for the coverage and balanced perspective.
Washington Maritime Federation Coordinator