OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead has completed the first leg of his trip to develop new and expanded market opportunities for Wyoming. Governor Mead began the trade mission in British Columbia and is now in Alberta. Several business leaders are also on this visit to Wyoming’s leading foreign trade partner.
In British Columbia, Governor Mead visited the Westshore terminal that exports U.S. and Canadian coal to Asian markets, primarily South Korea. The Governor was pleased to see the operation first-hand. “The Westshore terminal has a 40-year track of record of using the latest technologies to store and load coal onto barges in a responsible fashion,” Governor Mead said. “This terminal is at capacity and is looking at ways to make more efficient use of its existing site.”
Governor Mead met with officials from Port Metro Vancouver, which operates and regulates one of the largest and most diversified ports in North America. The Governor spoke with these port officials about the process for expanding exports and the need to be commodity-neutral in matters of trade. “Whether it is Powder River Basin coal for electricity, Canadian coal for metallurgy, or any number of agricultural products, manufactured goods, or commodities, we must remember that the U.S. and Canada are trade partners in a global economy. Access to all markets helps our economies and improves the standard of living across the world.”
The Governor met with citizens concerned about local land use issues related to expanded exports. “I explained that it is not appropriate for me to weigh in on local planning matters. However, I reiterated the need for railroads and coal companies to address concerns of citizens by providing data, and to the extent there is no information or baseline data, then industry should be prepared to collect it. Empirical data is necessary for sound decision making and problem solving. We need to look for ways - not to create roadblocks - but to find solutions to problems, and data is helpful,” Governor Mead said.
“This visit has been beneficial for me to see the complexities of exports and to learn about the opportunities and challenges that exist. Ports are a very important part of the economy in British Columbia and for the entire continent. For Wyoming, these ports allow us to compete globally in selling coal and other commodities to many markets,” Governor Mead said. “I hope we can expand trade in the coming years to Canada and to other trading partners. I see the possibility of growth with South Korea, Japan, Europe, China and India.”
During the visit to Vancouver Governor Mead also visited a company that builds LNG engines. “LNG powered semi-trucks, trains and other heavy equipment could do a lot for Wyoming’s economy. This is another one of the sectors where we could see growth and put to further use our abundant natural gas,” Governor Mead said.
Governor Mead and the trade delegation will be in Alberta, Canada until June 19th. That portion of the trip will focus on the oil sands in northern Alberta and include stops at the largest hydrocarbon processing center in Canada, meetings with Canadian companies that operate in Wyoming, and visits to various facilities in the oil sands.