Tech companies see a new 'golden age'; gold mine threatens Washington jobs
The Columbian - Cheers: To a predicted "golden age" for high-tech companies in Portland and Clark County. The technology economy has received its share of bruises so far this century, so it was a change to hear good news shared at a Portland technology conference attended by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore. The entrepreneurs at the conference talked about how there are already 8,000 local jobs developing software "apps" for smart phones, tablets and mobile devices, and said that chronic problems such as lack of access to venture capital seemed to be easing. Of course, there are challenges. The Silicon Forest is still overshadowed by California, and there aren't enough app developers coming out of local colleges.
Jeers: To a proposed mine in a remote area of Alaska that would have direct consequences in our state. The Pebble Mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska, would be a source of gold and other minerals, but the huge mine also would threaten the world's most productive salmon run, according to Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell. The Environmental Protection Agency figures the huge mine would block up to 87 miles of streams, and Cantwell's office says nearly 1,000 Washington residents hold commercial fishing permits in Bristol Bay. In 2008, Bristol Bay commercial fishing accounted for $113 million in economic activity in Washington, not including another $75 million in activity generated by recreational salmon fishing.
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As one of the most beautiful states in the union–and one of the richest in natural resources–Washington has a special interest in energy and environmental policy. And Maria has fought hard to uphold the state’s conservation tradition, while also working to bring our energy policy into the 21st century.
Maria knows Washington’s business community – because, as an executive at an innovative software company, she was part of it. And as a Senator, she’s led the way in helping businesses large and small throughout Washington grow, thrive, and create jobs.
Maria has taken a leadership role on safety and security issues, including defending our borders, strengthening our military, cracking down on gangs, and taking on drug crime in Washington communities.
Middle-class families around Washington and across the country are facing tough times–and tough decisions about balancing the family checkbook each month. Maria has fought to strengthen the economic security of Washington families and cut taxes for middle-class families.