Search The Site
Press Release of Senator Cantwell
Cantwell Announces Landmark Partnership Between Washington State and Chinese Ports
Cross-Pacific Cooperation Aim to Develop a Global Model for Energy Efficient and Environmentally Sustainable Ports
Monday, December 15,2008
SEATTLE, WA – On the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and representatives from the U.S. Department of State, the Port of Seattle, SSA Marine, the City of Tacoma, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory today announced an innovative partnership to develop energy efficient and environmentally sustainable ports.
“Thirty years ago, the United States and China began diplomatic relations that continue today,” said Cantwell. “Since then, our two countries have become the two largest energy consumers and greenhouse gas emitters in the world. This new partnership will establish a model of how our two countries can work together to improve the world environment and our economies at the same time.”
At the U.S. – China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) in Beijing on December 4, 2008, a framework agreement and statements of intent were signed creating seven ecopartnerships under the U.S. – China Ten Year Framework on Energy and Environment Cooperation. One of these ecopartnerships is between the Port of Seattle and Dalian Port Cooperation in Liaoning, China. The partnership between two of the world’s largest sea ports will be a global model for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
“The Port of Seattle’s participation in the EcoPartnership builds on a long, special relationship with China,” said John Creighton, President, Seattle Port Commission. “The first Chinese cargo ship to enter the United States after China and the U.S. normalized trade relations came to the Port of Seattle. Nearly 30 years later, we’re pleased to build on these strong economic and cultural ties through global sustainability. Our green port strategy will help harness the power of the marketplace for a better environment.”
The ecopartnerships are voluntary, cooperative partnerships between U.S. and Chinese entities including local, state or provincial government-to-government partnerships, and partnerships among businesses, universities and non-profits. Ecopartnerships were created to encourage governments at various levels to assess and create favorable policy environments, which provide incentives for industry and individuals to engage in energy efficient behavior, develop new and renewable energy sources, develop clean transportation systems, protect forests and wetlands, and also to build capacity for the promotion of sustainable development.
“PNNL believes this partnership between the Port of Seattle and the Dalian Port Corporation, two of the world’s largest seaports, can help in developing a global model for ports to become more energy efficient as well as environmentally sustainable,” said Rod Quinn, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Chief Technology Officer for Energy and Environment.
"We very pleased to participate in this important undertaking with our government, the Port of Dalian, and other EcoPartners,” said Jon Hemingway, President & CEO of SSA Marine. “We are confident our efforts will culminate in a cost effective, environmentally sensitive model for future terminal operations and, as importantly, it will identify infrastructure improvements and other measures necessary to enhance the throughput of Chinese exports and imports through our ports."
Cantwell has been a leader in urging the U.S. to expand clean energy cooperation with China. Cantwell believes such efforts are in the strong interest of both nations to become more energy efficient, utilize and develop clean energy technologies, and work to significantly reduce pollution, while at the same time promoting regional economic development and increasing competitiveness.
In April 2007, Cantwell authored a bipartisan letter to President Bush, signed by 11 other senators, urging him to develop a comprehensive bilateral agreement with China on clean energy. Because of Cantwell’s leadership, Gig Harbor, Washington was chosen for the first meeting on developing a ten year energy-environment plan between the U.S. and China as a spin-off of the Strategic Economic Dialogue. More recently, Cantwell introduced legislation on formalizing the cooperation through establishment of an Executive-Congressional Commission on China and India in the areas of energy and the environment.