I attended the Whatcom County Council meeting on May 16 and was disappointed to see six councilmembers decide to create potential restrictions on business and development out at Cherry Point.
Several employees from BP spoke passionately about the fear they have of lost jobs and the possibility of their company focusing on other areas of the country that are more receptive to the growth of the ever changing refinery marketplace. BP is one of a handful of companies at Cherry Point that provide family wage jobs and contribute over $100 million annually to our local tax base. These companies are highly regulated and spend millions making sure they operate safely and create systems that adhere to strict environmental standards.
Council’s decision to spend $50K on a study that questions BP’s business practices is another example of local government getting caught up trying to do a job much better suited for the EPA, Department of Natural Resources, and the Washington State Department of Ecology.
Have our councilmembers ever given any thought where our county would be without our Cherry Point jobs?
For things to change we need to clean house and get some new faces on county council.
This is not going to be an overnight matter, but in the next couple years we can bring some common sense back to local government by electing candidates who understand that our schools and local economies are dependent on the ability of Cherry Point industries to compete on a level playing field.
Hopefully, we can put together a council that understands the need to support our Cherry Point refineries and leave the environmental concerns to the above mentioned agencies.