‘Because fossils fuels is on the rise – it’s not on the decline – it’s on the rise.’ – John Huntley, Mills Electric / Noisy Waters Northwest

September 11, 2019 Dena Jensen

The Whatcom County Planning Commission’s town hall meeting on Cherry Point Comprehensive Plan and code amendments is coming up tomorrow night, Thursday, 9/12, at 6:30 p.m. Be there early to sign up to speak! This is a step in the critical direction of avoiding climate collapse!

Here’s a link to the Planning Commission page with information related to the town hall: http://wa-whatcomcounty.civicplus.com/1660/Planning-Commission-Meeting-Materials

Here’s a letter I sent to the Planning Commission, pds_planning_commission@whatcomcounty.us, copied to the County Council, council@co.whatcom.wa.us, and Executive Louws, jlouws@co.whatcom.wa.us :

Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Subject: Sustainable energy is on the rise and our climate action goals need to be met

“Because fossils fuels is on the rise, it’s not on the decline, it’s on the rise.” – John Huntley, Mills Electric

Dear Whatcom County Planning Commission:

On Kris Halterman’s Saturday Morning Live Show on September 7, 2019 the topic centered around the Whatcom County Planning Commission’s town hall meeting on Thursday September 12, at 6:30 p.m.

There was a lot of focus on the idea of the Whatcom County Council’s Cherry Point Comprehensive Plan and code amendments compromising the safety of Cherry Point industries. However, the points about safety issues made by John Huntley of Mills Electric and Trevor Smith, a business agent for the Laborers Local 292, ultimately seemed to boil down to the claim that the refineries themselves would not make needed renovations to keep their workers and the community safe if they were not allowed to process greater and greater volumes of fossil fuels.

Seeming to contradict these assertions, representatives of BP and Phillips 66 have repeatedly emphasized how they run extremely safe facilities and that the safety of their workers is paramount. For me, the bottom line is that we urgently need fossil fuels to NOT be on the rise. We need to slow down, and very soon halt, the environmentally damaging and unsafe extraction, transportation, and processing of fossil fuels on this planet. And we all have to slow that down now and here in Whatcom County. That means less consumption of fossil fuels by all of us and greater strides to move on swiftly to different energy options and to processing less and less fossil fuels by the energy companies at Cherry Point.

Thank you to the County Council Members who have worked to come up with and bring forward regulations to help increase community input and overview on fossil fuel project permitting so that climate action goals can be accomplished as swiftly as is needed for us to avoid dire consequences. This is a joint effort all over the world, so I am proud of our Council Members making this effort to do their part.

I urge Planning Commission Members to make good use of their own expertise and that of the Cascadia Law Group to finalize regulations that help our community fend off threats such as: carbon pollution; crude oil leaks; oil train explosions; abuse of cultural, historic, and treaty protected territories of Lummi Nation and other Coast Salish peoples; increased vessel traffic endangering marine life, including our resident orcas; and climate collapse.

Sincerely,Dena Jensen

Birch Bay, WA

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