Whatcom County’s Big Win
Whatcom County’s Big Win
Thursday August 05, 2021

How this small community is leading on climate action in a big way

This is huge.

Whatcom County, Washington is the first local government in the U.S. to use land-use code amendments to permanently prohibit new refineries, fossil fuel transshipment facilities, new piers, and wharfs or coal facilities. The regulations also place new restrictions on existing fossil fuel company’s abilities to expand.

They proved that with enough determination and organizing, any community – even ones dominated by the influence of oil and coal mega-corporations – can protect themselves from fossil fuels.

This is a game changer for the SAFE Cities movement – offering a blueprint for other communities across the country to end fossil fuel expansion and fast track clean energy. But if we’re going to make sure Whatcom is just the first community of many, we need to ramp up pressure on local governments all across the country – including yours.

Even areas without major fossil fuel infrastructure are paying a price. Research shows that gas stoves cause asthma in children at the same rate as second-hand smoke [1] and living or working near gas stations can cause cancer and a myriad of other serious health issues. [2]

We’ve had enough.

That’s why we’re asking, if you live in the U.S., to send a message to your local leaders using our easy tool and demand that they follow in Whatcom’s footsteps to ensure a just transition to a clean energy economy.

If you’re not in the U.S., you can still show your support for the movement towns and cities are building across the globe. Click here to share our tweet about this crucial momentclick here to share on Facebook, and click here to share on Instagram. If you don't use social media, share via email by clicking here.

The SAFE Cities movement is showing that a better way forward is possible. Instead of building new oil refineries and coal export terminals, Whatcom County is expanding solar panel facilities and building electric bus assembly plants. They’re proving that you can have a clean environment and a booming economy.

It’s not just Whatcom County – nearly 100 SAFE policies have already been passed in more than 75 different communities. People in towns from California to Colorado to Tennessee to Maine have had enough and are taking their homes back from the fossil fuel industry.

Let’s make your city and county next. Click here to send your message.

 

[1] https://thelatch.com.au/gas-stove-asthma/
[2] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-it-safe-to-live-near-gas-station/