Another County Council emergency moratorium passed in July making it three years of inaction by the Council to give certainty how to do business in major manufacturing in Whatcom County… Jobs held in limbo.
List of moratoriums…
WHEREAS, the Whatcom County Council adopted interim measures on
- September 27, 2O16 (Ordinance 2016-039),
- March 27, 2077 (Ordinance 2017-0II),
- September 26,2017 (Ordinance 20L7-049),
- February 27,2018 (Ordinance 2018-007),
- August 8, 2018 (Ordinance 2018-044),
- January 29,2019 (Ordinance 2019-010),
- AND this one adopted July 9, 2019 (Ordinance 2019-049)
prohibiting the filing, acceptance, and processing of new applications for conversion of land or water, new building or structure permits, or other County permits or authorizations in the Cherry Point Urban Growth Area for new or expanded facilities whose purpose is to facilitate the increased shipment of unrefined fossil fuels not to be processed or consumed at Cherry Point, unless the applications:…
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The following expresses some of the concern by the community written by Jim Mckinney
Chery Point Challenges
Analysis and Opinion, By Jim McKinney, September, 2019
Whatcom County’s only designated heavy industrial zone, Cherry Point, faces challenges from political activists and local elected officials. Moratoriums, excessive regulation, and misinformation directly threaten our best employers. Political “activists” seek to close the refineries over climate change fears. The loss of these companies, by any economic measure, would be devastating to the County, and not help the climate.
Contrary to activists’ claims, these industries are heavily regulated and clean operations. They work toward emission reductions and invest in renewable fuels. Ironically, Washington refineries are the largest funders of environmental protection/clean up in the State through taxes and charitable donations.
Economists project global energy demand to increase until more efficient and reliable renewable energy sources are developed. Activists won’t tell you this, but solar and wind cannot meet the demand. To meet demand, energy companies must compete in global markets.
However, our County Council approved moratoriums restricting local energy companies’ ability to export, expand and compete in global markets. Some council members are proposing changes to the County Comprehensive Plan that codify restrictions, even limiting upgrades that improve efficiencies. According to Phillips 66, proposed changes hamper a plan to build a renewable bio-fuel plant.
The activists’ ultimate goal, closing local refineries, will not slow global CO2 emissions – production would move to China, India, or locations with less stringent regulations, likely increasing CO2 emissions, to meet global demand.
Cherry Point energy industries are the highest paying employers in the County. Average salaries are over $110,000yr, compared to about $47,000yr for the County, an important part of Whatcom’s economy. They are the largest tax contributors to local schools, infrastructure, and services.
Limiting competitiveness, or closing Whatcom’s biggest and best employers is not a solution. They pay family wages, taxes that protect the environment, fund schools, pave roads and support the disadvantaged. Losing these jobs will hurt people.
Climate change is inevitable. Whatcom County needs leaders that seek ways to adapt, balancing people and the environment. Elect leaders that support common-sense regulations, investments, innovation to meet environmental challenges, and grow the economy, not weak politicians that bend to activists.
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