Sen. Cantwell on salmon, gas prices, tsunami debris

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 30 at 9:00 AM

On KING 5 Morning News Wednesday, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D, Wash.) spoke about some of the state's political issues with anchor Mark Wright. Below are they topics they discussed and some of her comments.

On the U.S. Import-Export Bank:

"This is helping what our manufacturers in the United States sell to overseas markets and be successful. So we have everything from grain elevators to agriculture products to Boeing planes that are sold into hundreds of different countries....This kind of financing tool helps make sure the deals get done."

"This actually not only helps U.S. manufactures gain access to these markets...the fact that they are able to be competitive on an international basis means they get more and more access to the marketplace. So this is good for us. It also generates money for reducing the deficit so we actually make money off this program, and that's good news for taxpayers."

"It's so important for jobs, we benefit more than any other state from this, partly because we understand how important it is to sell products overseas."

On proposed mine near Bristol Bay, Alaska and its potential impact on the Northwest:

"Our fishing industry is so important to us in the Northwest. Not just those who are involved in catching and processing, but our restaurant industry."

"We certainly want to make sure these wild salmon runs are protected and that something like heavy metals from mining or blockage of streams wouldn't have adverse impacts on that industry."

"We just want to make sure the EPA does its job in reviewing this proposal...we're very concerned because this is a very important industry to us in the Northwest and we want to make sure its protected."

On viruses among locally farmed salmon:

"We want to make sure that NOAA...and the state stays on top of these salmon viruses. We don't want it to extend to the wild population. To understand what's causing these viruses and how to stop them and how to prevent them is very important."

On why Washington's gas prices are higher:

"We're definitely going to look into this. We know that the [Cherry Point] refinery had a shutdown and we know that there's some impact there, but there's some anomaly here that's beyond that. We want to make sure consumers are protected."

On whether gasoline should be considered a public utility:

"What I definitely think we should have is the transparency in markets."

"When you have something so critical to the economy like gasoline, you really want to make sure nothing untoward is happening in the marketplace or people aren't taking advantage of something like a shutdown and making prices artificially higher than they need to be."

On Washington's tsunami debris response plan:

"We want a plan from NOAA about what they think the debris field looks like, and we want cooperation of all federal agencies to make sure that we don't leave it to the state at the 11th hour to clean up the debris."

"What do we think the size and impact of this is and how to we take care of it before it does impacts our fishing industry, our Washington shores, our tourism industry? We want something that's a little bit more of a plan and an assessment of our risk."

On jumpstarting the nation's economy:

"I do think there are some things that we need to get done, like a transportation bill, like the agricultural bill, we did pass an FAA bill and the Import-Export Bank. These are fundamental things. To me, I want to see private sector stimulus of our economy, so paying down the deficit is going to help us do that, but we also have to invest, just as any business would, in the things that we think are going to make us strong in the future. I do think that some of these infrastructure investment ideas are sound ideas."

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