As a resident of Bellingham for 16 years, I have watched the sad decline in the standard of living in Whatcom County. Exodus of businesses, disappearance of living-wage jobs, foreclosures and rising taxes have caused desperate times for many families. I believe the Gateway Pacific Terminal project offers a timely and vital key for recovery. For decades, trains carrying grain, wood products, potash, and coal have been traveling through our county on their way to Vancouver ports with no violation of environmental thresholds. If the Gateway terminal is built, cargo will be routed to a local domestic port and with measures required by the EPA, safeguards will be more stringent than those of the past. For example, the shoreline permit requires zero air particulate emission at the terminal. The beauty of the Gateway Pacific Terminal project is that we will develop a unique deep water port to take advantage of an existing, secure market. Built under stringent environmental standards, the project will improve the method of coal exportation in the Pacific Northwest. We will increase our role in Pacific Rim commerce; we will benefit from jobs created by private enterprise -- not government subsidies; and we will enjoy a more stable prosperity for local businesses and families. It's a win-win situation.