Congressman Peter DeFazio, along with Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, have been joined by the rest of the members of the Oregon Congressional Delegation in a letter to President Biden requesting federal funds from the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act be allocated towards a proposal to create a major new west coast container port in Coos Bay.
A release said in their letter, the lawmakers highlighted what they said was ‘the importance of investing in our country’s rural ports to address supply chain issues, create jobs and increase economic productively” and how this project specifically will produce significant environmental benefits.
The delegation said even as the administration works to identify investments that can have an immediate impact, “…we must accommodate for the fact that container flows on the West Coast are projected to grow at a rapid pace well into the future”. The delegation said while current port infrastructure is incapable of handling this future growth in trade, there is one location where significant port capacity can be added – at the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay. The group said establishing a container port there would immediately increase West Coast port capacity by up to 10 percent.
The release said the fact that the Port of Coos Bay is located in a rural area makes the project even all the more important. Establishing a world class port in Coos Bay will create jobs and generate tax revenue in a part of the state that has long suffered from a steep decline in timber harvest revenue, according to the letter.
The full text of the letter is linked: https://www.merkley.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2022-03-16%20OR%20Delegation%20Letter%20to%20President%20Biden%20re%20Port%20of%20Coos%20Bay%20Container%20Port%20FINAL.pdf