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Business, Industry Leaders Say Rail Initiative Threatens Washington’s Competitiveness

July 26, 2017

""However, business leaders are sounding the warning over the threat to Washington’s economic wellbeing. “This is illegal, pure and simple,” said Michael Cathcart in a recent Keep Washington Competitive (KWC) press release. “The railroads have moved fossil fuels through Spokane for decades, and rail remains the safest, most efficient means of moving these commodities. Yet because of the politics around fossil fuels, we’re willing to jeopardize a major trade network for our city, our state and our region,” he said.


Cathcart is executive director of Better Spokane, a Spokane-based civic engagement organization advocating for greater business consideration in public policy decisions.

The initiative originally required railroads to pay for any penalties, according to Beggs. Affected railroads met with the backers of the initiative to explain they had no control over commodities shipped on their lines and requested a change in the language, which was updated to hold the producers responsible instead. Last year, the majority of the Spokane City Council decided to take it off the ballot but decided it was still important for voters to decide and revised the initiative.""


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