Oklahoma and Tulsa leaders react to word that Boeing has decided to build the 7E7 in Everett, Washington

Friday, December 5th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A Seattle newspaper report has shot down Tulsa's hopes for the Boeing 7E7 assembly plant. But many insist that we are still in the running.

The Seattle Times reported Friday morning that a Boeing executive team has decided on Everett, Washington as the site for the 7E7 plant.

News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg says Boeing has not confirmed the Seattle newspaper story. They said what they've been saying all along, that they will not discuss the details of the project.

The Seattle paper though is very detailed. The newspaper story has a convincing amount of detail on the 7E7 process, citing an insider that has provided accurate information on the project in the past.

For one thing, the paper says Kinston, North Carolina has been determined by Boeing to be the lowest-cost city of the contenders. But it says the enormous tax incentives from Washington State, $3-billion worth - have swayed Boeing back to Everett. And the paper says it’s not just the bottom line being considered.

Supposedly, Boeing is factoring in the effect of the 7E7 decision on the morale of its Washington workforce, since regardless what happens with the 7E7, workers there will be building other models of Boeing planes for several more years to come.

As interesting and compelling as the details may be, both Oklahoma state and Tulsa city leaders, who are still in contact with Boeing, say Tulsa is still in the running. Mayor Bill Lafortune: "In fact, I think that news report also indicated there's no confirmation from Boeing officials. So it doesn't necessarily concern me, because we're deep in the competition with many other cities and states and until we hear the official word otherwise, we're going to remain in the competition."

Whatever the recommendation is, whether it's Everett or someplace else, it does still have to be voted on by the Boeing board of directors. The Seattle paper says though, that recommendation will carry a lot of weight.