We have an under-appreciated resource that just may make Whatcom County the last best place to locate the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal on the West Coast: the people who live and work here.
I have seen first hand how careful our local people are when asked to preserve and protect our environment. The safety records of both local refineries, as well as the Alcoa Intalco plant, provide a proven history of responsible stewardship.
We have the ability and willingness to train people in environmentally sound operations through Bellingham Technical College. Western produces graduates who have become valued engineers in our local industries. We need these folks to stay home and work for us.
It bothers me when people ridicule folks on the other side of this issue. Proponents call opponents NIMBY obstructionists. Those opposed see supporters as company stooges sold out to Big Coal. Neither point of view is constructive or accurate. I have often seen people in local industries stand up to defend safe operations and support environmental best practice simply because it is the right thing to do. They are nobody's stooges. Likewise opponents have enacted good policies that protect not only our back yard, but our entire region. We are fortunate to have both these voices in Whatcom County. I believe we can do it right in Whatcom County.