Washington State Labor Council supports proposed pumped storage hydro project in Klickitat County


Resolution #5

WHEREAS, the Washington State Labor Council believes it is the Labor Movement’s obligation to rebuild the middle class through obtaining and sustaining jobs that provide family wages and benefits; and

WHEREAS, the Washington State Labor Council also believes in the need for a just transition to greener energy sources, and whole-heartedly rejects the assertion that we must choose between quality jobs and a healthy environment; and

WHEREAS, in recognizing the need for those greener sources of energy, it is also important to recognize the storage limitations of solar and wind-generated power; and

WHEREAS, pumped storage is the only proven, cost-effective storage at scale, and consists of pumping or generating by moving energy in the form of water through a powerhouse between an upper and lower reservoir; and

WHEREAS, the Washington State Labor Council embraces the opportunity to contribute to the just transition by constructing a pumped storage site which will be strategically located in Goldendale, Washington to support de-carbonization goals affordably and reliably; and

WHEREAS, the Washington State Labor Council is currently working with developers National Grid and Rye Development to ensure that this $2.24 billion energy project is built by skilled Union tradesmen and tradeswomen, along with their apprentices, under a Project Labor Agreement which reflects the value and capabilities of American workers; and

WHEREAS, studies have indicated that the construction of this facility will result in the equivalent of 3,164 full-year jobs with over $190.3 million in wages, with on-site construction lasting approximately 4 years; and

WHEREAS, lengthy and sizable construction projects such as this one are essential for the Building Trades Unions to start the next generation of skilled craft workers in a career that provides the level of wages and benefits required to maintain a successful family life in the local community; and

WHEREAS, the Washington State Labor Council is committed not only to securing family-wage jobs for its members, but also for others in the community to better the quality of life for all working people; and

WHEREAS, it is estimated that this project will create another 3,486 indirect and induced jobs during the construction period, along with 32 direct and another 40 indirect and induced operation and maintenance jobs once construction is complete; and

WHEREAS, financial support for state and local essential services is an important component in creating and maintaining healthy communities; and

WHEREAS, this project is projected to generate approximately $44.4 million in state and local revenue during construction, plus an estimated $15.1 million in property taxes revenues for Klickitat County, which will go to fund local and state school districts, county roads, local fire, hospitals, parks and library districts; and

WHEREAS, the WSLC and all of its affiliates are proud partners with and members of the Global Labor Movement; and

WHEREAS, the WSLC understands there is currently a labor dispute between the United Steel Workers and the National Grid in the Northeast United states; and

WHEREAS, it is abhorrent and an affront to organized workers everywhere for any employer to lockout its workforce and/or replace their organized workforce with scabs or contracting out their work, and

WHEREAS, National Grid has unjustly lockout 1,200 of its employees, who are represented by the United Steelworkers, AFL-CIO; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that this resolution shall only become effective and affirmed upon the conclusion of the aforementioned labor dispute; and

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council confirms its strong support for the Goldendale Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project and pledges to work in all possible ways for the successful permitting and construction of this facility; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council calls on all affiliated locals and members to participate in all public review processes to push for a reliable permitting timeline that will show developers that they can flourish in Washington State, and also to advocate for the high environmental standards, the quality jobs, and the local and state revenues this project will bring; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will communicate its support to Governor Jay Inslee, the Washington State Legislature and Congressional Delegation, statewide elected officials, and relevant federal, state and local government agencies.