December 13, 2019 Dena Jensen
This month, folks may have been seeing sponsored Facebook ads for the Whatcom Coalition for Economic Growth. This is a fairly new “project” of the Whatcom Business Alliance that seems to be putting on a full court press during this time that the Whatcom County Planning Commission is reviewing the Cherry Point Amendments. This WBA effort is not unlike Cascade Natural Gas’s misinformation campaign regarding the Climate Action Plan Task Force.
As of the time of the screenshot, there were only 4 people who had liked the FB page of “coalition” yet. But they have a web presence that links up to the WBA Policy Center website. There are no members of the “coalition” listed anywhere on its website, and again, it is described by the WBA as a “project.” You will find that on both websites the WWU’s Center for Economic and Business Research’s (CEBR’s) “Employment at Cherry Point” reports (also referred to on the WBA Policy Center website as a “Cherry Point Economic Impact Study,” which is not the actual title of the report) is featured on numerous webpages. There are foot notes referrering to CEBR’s report; there are buttons that link to the report; there are pages that explain some of WBA’s version of the background of the report.
I just wanted to post some screenshots to get people familiar with these WBA entities, so folks can recognize them and how heavily the WBA is relying on CEBR’s Employment at Cherry Point report to bolster the credibility of all of these WBA efforts fighting against County Council proposed code and policy to fill gaps where current regulations may fail to protect our area from expanded fossil fuel processing and export.
Click any of the graphic images below to enlarge and be able to page through the other images.
Meanwhile, the credibility of that Employment at Cherry Point report is seriously in question in regard to it being any kind of “independent” or “objective third party research” as the WBA claims it is. Here’s a link to The Searchlight Review’s examination of public records received from CEBR pertaining to the Employment at Cherry Point reports, where you can get an idea of how the independent nature of the report – a report which claims not to be intended for advocacy purposes – comes into question: https://searchlightreview.com/2019/12/10/go-forth-and-generate-revenue-examining-public-records-related-to-the-center-for-economic-and-business-researchs-employment-at-cherry-point-