I've contacted the campaign of our freshly elected, soon-to-be newly minted governor Jay Inslee at least three times in the past two weeks looking to get Inslee's position on one of the state's biggest environmental and political battles: building coal export terminals in our state.
His staff hasn't responded to my repeated requests to set up an interview. Meanwhile, I'm far from the only reporter in the state wondering why Inslee still appears to be dodging questions on this controversial topic now that he's won the governor's mansion. Grist writes:
Inslee, a Democrat, won election in Washington state earlier this month after getting unprecedented support from state and national environmental groups. They’re counting on him to keep up the advocacy for climate action and clean energy that he demonstrated during more than 15 years in Congress.
But on one critical environmental topic, Inslee has been largely silent: coal trains and coal export terminals. During the campaign, he, like his Republican opponent, stayed neutral. In a June debate, he said, “My view is we need to evaluate all of the jobs prospects, both plus or minus, before we make a decision.”
... [Coal] Proponents say they aren’t worried. Job creation was a tenet of Inslee’s campaign in a state where the unemployment rate hovers above the national average. And the projects would create thousands of high-paying construction jobs. “Hopes are still high” for his backing, said Lauri Hennessey, a spokesperson for the Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports, which comprises about 40 coal companies, transportation firms, labor unions and regional business councils.
Neutrality is an increasingly untenable, and stupid, stance to take on this very important issue. So, Jay, why don't you pick up the phone and tell us where you stand on coal trains? xoxo!