In a first-of-its-kind move this summer, Bellingham, WA’s (hometown to FFJ) city council unanimously passed a motion (7-0) instructing their finance dept. to, “where such effort is reasonably feasible”, contract with fuel companies which provide alternative fuels and avoid fuels with higher than average environmental footprints — specifically directing avoidance of Alberta’s tar sand fuels. Local environmental journal Whatcom Watch provides a good breakdown of the motion. As most know by now, the processing and pipelining of the tar sands has the potential to catastrophically affect the Sacred Headwaters area of BC’s greatest steelhead runs.
While the action may be largely symbolic, the gesture certainly has not been lost on the tar sands politicians who quickly sprang to action throughout the CDN and US press to assure the public the refiining of Alberta’s tar sands are only nominally more damaging than say… drilling deep water wells off the Gulf of Mexico, or engaging in mideastern land wars. Fortunately the city of Bellingham was not disuaded by the false choice and included language in the measure to raise awareness of our current overconsumption of all fossil fuels, including, and especially, the tar sands.
This town has a particularly horriffic history with pipelines that none are likely to forget, and with the tar sands coursing through city limits en route to the Anacortes facility for further refining and transport, the oil companies can expect to have only more daylight shed upon them by all Whatcom watchers.