FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Elizabeth Hartsoch, Riveters Collective, 1-360-305-5624
Statement: Pick a job, Senator Ericksen.
WHATCOM COUNTY, WASHINGTON — Today the Washington State Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee held a hearing on HB 1001 and Senator Ericksen was in attendance. HB 1001 is a technical bill updating the payment schedule for utility easements on state owned aquatic lands. It passed the House 97-0 and is now being considered in the Senate. But Senator Erickson has introduced a major amendment which would overturn state protection of Cherry Point.
The amendment language mirrors that from one of his failed senate bills, a bill for which he was the sole sponsor, and missed the hearing because he was at his full-time job in Washington, D.C. – unsurprising since Senator Ericksen has missed more than three quarters of his committee hearings this year.
Citizens and elected Tribal leaders, however, showed up in force to the January 24th hearing in the Senate Natural Resources and Park Committee. Citizens and Tribal leaders opposing the bill filled the hearing room and an overflow room. Tribal leaders spoke in opposition and not a single person signed in to support overturning protections of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.1
In response to this renewed attempt to open the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve to industrial development, local activists with the Riveters Collective issued the following Statement:
“Our message was clear at the hearing in January – we want state protection for the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve,” said Elizabeth Hartsoch with the Riveters Collective and a resident of the 42nd Legislative District. “Unfortunately, our Senator was in D.C. at his other job. Nobody – not even Senator Ericksen – signed in to support his attempt to overturn protection of the Cherry Point Aquatic reserve, and it failed to advance out of committee. Today Senator Ericksen flew back from DC to try again to open up the Salish Sea for coal export. This is a waste of everyone’s time and both state and federal taxpayer money. Once again we urge Senator Ericksen to pick one full-time job and stick with it. Nobody – not his constituents back home nor his colleagues in Olympia – is well served by him trying to keep both jobs.”