Bellingham, WA -- Tonight, with most votes counted, the results of four hotly-contested elections for the Whatcom County Council appear to be “bad news for big coal”, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The likely results will potentially have a major impact on determining the Council’s decision on whether or not to construct the Cherry Point coal export terminal. Likely victories by challengers Rud Browne and Barry Buchanan as well as successful re-election bids by incumbent Council members Ken Mann and Carl Weiner ensure a more progressive direction for the Council. These results indicate a stronger likelihood that the long-term climate, public health, environmental, and social effects of the Cherry Point terminal will be considered in the weeks and months to come.
In response, Natalie McClendon, a Sierra Club volunteer leader in Bellingham, released the following statement:
“Tonight, the people of Whatcom County stood up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in big polluter cash to secure a victory for a healthy future for our communities, our families, and our planet.
With these results, we are confident the Council will now take into account all the factors that should be considered when deciding on this coal export terminal. That means weighing the effect on the air and water at Cherry Point, to the impact on the lives of those living and working on the rail line, to the severe implications for our climate crisis, to possible changes in waterfront redevelopment in Bellingham.
The Sierra Club recruited volunteers from throughout Washington to educate our members and our neighbors about the importance of this election for our air, our water, our land, our climate, and our health. We are proud to have played a part in this historic victory over big polluters and prouder still to have stood on the side of a healthy future for all our communities.
Now, we look forward to working with the entire Council to ensure the future of Whatcom is cleaner, and we are investing in jobs that are good for the community, workers and the planet.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.1 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org.