September 25, 2018 Dena Jensen
Since our community has worked so hard together to prevent the very real and toxic threat of a 48 million ton coal terminal here, our day #31 post presents a particularly disgusting deed of our current 42nd LD Senator that definitely designates why Doug’s Got to Go.
Back in March of 2017 the Riveters Collective put out a call to action to protect Cherry Point from an amendment proposed by Republican State Senator Doug Ericksen.
There was a January 3, 2017 article by Samantha Wohlfeil in The Bellingham Herald that had announced, “Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark announced Tuesday his decision to incorporate a 45-acre ‘cutout’ for the pier into the reserve, after reviewing about 5,000 public comments, the majority of which were in favor of the change, and getting advice to do so from a technical advisory committee.” This decision, via a Commissioner’s Order, by then-Commissioner Goldmark had honored Lummi Nation’s request to remove the 45-acre “cutout.”
Senator Ericksen’s bill SB 5171 that he had proposed back on January 16, 2017 had sought to reverse that order and require that any future aquatic reserve designation, establishment, or enlargement be expressly authorized by the legislature.
To me it was disgusting for the Senator to try to maintain a threat of future, and potentially devastating, projects to Xwe’chi’eXen and the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. This was bad enough. But when the bill, thankfully did not make it out of committee, Senator Ericksen did not stop there.
More disgusting still, Senator Ericksen then crafted a “striking amendment” to a bill (HB 1001) “Concerning utility easements on state-owned aquatic lands.” In this amendment, S-2118.1, he added the language that would have rescinded the order by Commissioner Goldmark and would have required that any future aquatic reserve designation, establishment, or enlargement be expressly authorized by the legislature.
Oh, and to lobby for his amendment Senator Ericksen was flying back from his second job at the EPA in DC to hold a hearing on Tuesday, March 21, at 10am in the Senate Committee on Energy, Environment & Telecommunications.
Thankfully, the plot was foiled again and Senator Ericksen’s deceitful amendment was not taken up by committee.