Great news! Today, the Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark announced that he is rejecting the aquatic lease permit for the Longview coal export terminal because the company refused to provide basic information about its finances after the bankruptcy of the previous owner, Arch Coal.
For many years Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light – with your help – has been fighting proposals to ship coal mined in Montana and Wyoming through Northwest’s deep-water ports to be burned in Asia. Thanks to today’s decision, we are one step closer to defeating the last of six fossil fuel export projects proposed in the Northwest. Good work, team faith!
And speaking of excellent news, Lummi Nation applauded Commissioner Goldmark and the Department of Natural Resources for honoring the tribe’s request to protect the lands of Xwe’chi’eXen, Cherry Point, by adding 45 acres of aquatic lands to the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. Lummi was determined to protect this area permanently as it has been their ancestral home and traditional fishing area for millennia.
In May – through the advocacy led by Lummi Nation and supported by Earth Ministry on behalf of the faith community – the US Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for a coal export terminal at Cherry Point. Today’s decision by Commissioner Goldmark to place these acres into an aquatic reserve will protect the area marine habitat and keep future fossil fuel proposals away.
In this dark time of the year and state of our democracy, let this news be a reminder that you can make a difference. The faith community is an important part of the rich partnership that led to these victories. We are grateful to our Native neighbors, to Commissioner Goldmark, and to each of you who contributed to this success in so many ways.
With gratitude and joy in 2017,
The Earth Ministry/WAIPL team