Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, June 30, 2008

Eastern Washington and the Queen: Myth and Reality

As the members of the [Eastern Washington Advisory] council and I discussed today, it is vitally important to Washington that the unique issues facing central and eastern Washington be addressed through state government.
- Queen Christine, press release, November 16, 2007

But rather than champion a project she feared would be controversial in some environmental circles, Gregoire deployed a "balanced approach" of not publicly promoting or opposing the project.

Gregoire repeatedly was invited by Areva supporters and her staff to consider an agreement with the company to restrict in-state storage of the plant's low-level waste of depleted uranium.

But that wasn't enough assurance for her to woo the company personally - as backers had hoped.

And while Areva, through the Tri-City Development Council, repeatedly sought Gregoire's personal engagement, the governor's office offered "a professional approach, not a political approach" that minimized her involvement.

The governor's office also refused to believe intelligence indicating the plant could be Washington's if Gregoire would embrace it.


Gregoire's unwillingness to play a more active role in recruiting what would have been a major economic development score for the state, Eastern Washington and the Tri-Cities has left even some of her strongest supporters shaken.
- "Herald investigates: How Washington lost the $2 billion Areva plant and at least 400 jobs to Idaho, Tri-City Herald, June 29, 2008

Tri-Cities residents are worried, justifiably, that the loss of this plant will cost more jobs. Herald political reporter Chris Mulick has more on his blog (a regular stop of mine.)

That's right, in an election year, the Queen ignored the needs of Eastern Washington to kow-tow to the radical Seattle environmentalists clad in birkenstocks and frayed "No Nukes" t-shirts. Is there any chance we'll get our stormwater burden lifted with her in office? Only with Dino Rossi as governor do we have a chance of that.

Obama may not have known where Hanford was, but the Queen won't be able to forget.

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