How One Washington County Took On the Fossil Fuel Industry—and Won

Sierra – the magazine of the Sierra Club – tells how Whatcom County, located in the northwest corner of the United States and home to two of Washington State’s five oil refineries, is the first in the U.S. to ban new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Firefighters spray water at the Cherry Point Refinery fire in Whatcom County, Washington. | Photo by AP Photo/The Bellingham Herald/Philip A. Dwyer

In this inspiring David-and-Goliath article, Carl Weimer, a fierce advocate for pipeline safety and past Whatcom County Councilmember, concludes:

“We didn’t have any hope that the federal government was going to protect us. So, we had to try to do what we could locally. I think often local governments underestimate how much power they have. This was certainly an experiment in that. How far could we push it? How much could we use local zoning and planning issues to control industries that have a much broader impact? And we found we could do quite a bit.”

This Sierra Club article underscores the critical importance of electing informed members to City Councils in the South Bay, which is a goal of TRAA and the TRAA Voter Advisory Panel.

Read the full Sierra Club article by clicking here.