Tell the Whatcom County Council: protect Cherry Point for good

A hearing at Whatcom County Council

It's time to pass bold, nation-leading policy to protect Whatcom County from dangerous and dirty fossil fuel expansion. Please join us in calling on our leaders to pass strong policy that will help us secure a future that is safe, healthy, and free from dirty fuels.

Will you please add your name to the petition calling on our leaders to protect Cherry Point for good? 

To: Whatcom County Executive, Whatcom County Council Members and Whatcom County Planning Commissioners

We are writing to request strong protections for Cherry Point. Over the past decade, we have observed numerous fossil fuel industry expansion projects and many more proposed projects that would put our community at risk and would harm the Salish Sea and our climate. The existing rules need to be strengthened.

Please preserve the following important changes already incorporated in the the working draft Cherry Point ordinance:

  • Prohibit new fossil fuel refineries
  • Prohibit new piers, docks and wharfs
  • Prohibit new fossil fuel transhipment facilities
  • Require conditional use permits for fossil facility expansion projects, and
  • Strengthen and clarify the SEPA processes and rules for fossil fuel facility expansions and renewable fuel facilities.

Please adopt the following improvements to the protections in the draft Cherry Point Ordinance:

  • Any fossil fuel facility expansions or increases in storage capacity should require a conditional use permit.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions, including lifecycle emissions, should be evaluated, under SEPA using rigorous, uniform standards.
  • Whatcom County should insist that proposed projects be consistent with federal laws and treaties.
  • Any pollution trading allowed through SEPA must not be double counted, should be local clean energy or energy efficiency projects, and should require prevailing wage and apprenticeship utilization standards.
  • “Value added” must be narrowly defined to prevent raw fuel exports.
  • Changes in use at fossil fuel facilities from previously permitted uses, should require new permits.
  • Fossil fuel facility expansions that increase dangerous materials or that require transportation of dangerous materials through the community, should demonstrate that there is sufficient insurance held by the project proponent or by the transportation partners that they will employ.

For more details on these proposed changes, please read our Climate Policy Advisor Alex Ramel's blog post.

Whatcom County Council: Pass permanent, bold protections for Cherry Point