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Local Level Actions
Watch a Video from the Homeless Bellingham Film Project and Comment on the RC Facebook Page
Source: RC Member
Description: Watch this video from the Homeless in Bellingham Film Project and comment with your biggest takeaway on the Riveters Collective Facebook page.
Background: Homelessness is an important issue in our community. The city is working with local organizations and stakeholders to create a new low-barrier shelter, and this has raised many questions. One thing we can do to help the community find solutions is to get up to speed on the topic. Let’s start this week by learning a little about what it’s like to be homeless in Bellingham.
Engage in Electoral Action Starting 05/15/17
Source: RC Member
Description: Filing week starts 05/15/17 and several local races are uncontested. Decide to run for office, ask someone to run for office, or volunteer to work on a campaign.
Local Level Actions from Past Weeks
(Click each topic to read more.)
LAST CHANCE!! Comment on the Anacortes Tesoro Xylene Draft Environmental Impact Statement by Monday, 05/08/17!!
Source: Re-Sources for Sustainable Communities
Description: Submit comment on the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Tesoro Xylene Project.
Background: Tesoro refinery in Anacortes has proposed an expansion project that would increase the risk of a chemical spill in the Salish Sea. The “Tesoro Anacortes Clean Products Upgrade Project” is a proposal to upgrade the refinery to produce and export xylene, a flammable petrochemical used to make plastic and synthetics. The plan to produce 15,000 barrels of xylene per day for export to Asia would bring an addition 5 tankers per month through the Salish Sea – each additional tanker increases the risks of spills of crude oil and refined products. In March 2017, Skagit County released the draft EIS for the proposal. A public hearing was held on April 17th in Anacortes, and the public comment period ends May 8th, 2017.
As a resident of [insert city/County], I am deeply concerned that the proposed Tesoro Anacortes CPU Project threatens our climate, public health, and the sensitive Salish Sea ecosystem. The draft EIS lacks both accurate calculations for carbon pollution and assurances the project won’t increase crude oil train traffic. I would like to request that Skagit County include language in the final EIS that:
- Requires the highest standards during the transport, refining and shipping of xylene.
- Ensures refinery workers follow the highest safety standards and are protected from the risks of toxic xylene spills.
- Creates an adequate disaster response plan with mitigation measures for water and air during a xylene spill at the refinery or from a tanker in the Salish Sea.
- Prevents Tesoro from utilizing the upgrades to begin exporting crude oil without additional permits and an independent environmental impact assessment.
- Prevents Tesoro from increasing crude oil train traffic to the refinery to provide the products needed to create xylene.
- Fully offsets any increases in refinery pollution by specifically supporting mitigation projects in Northwest Washington.
Additional Information: For the ReSources action alert (which links to news articles and other sources of info), click here. To learn more about the proposed project and to review the Draft EIS, click here.
Ask Doug Ericksen to Schedule a Vote on the Solar Jobs Bill
Source: Adapted from Solar Installers of Washington
Description: Call and/or email Senator Doug Ericksen and ask him to schedule a vote for SB 5499, the “Solar Jobs Bill”. Ericksen killed this bill last year by not scheduling a vote, don’t let him do it again. He still hasn’t scheduled a vote, let’s keep calling!!
Background: In 2006, the Washington State Legislature passed a bill providing incentives for residential solar installations. While extremely effective at increasing installed residential solar capacity and driving growth in the solar industry in Washington, the bill has both an expiration and numerous opportunities for improvement. We can continue to grow residential solar in Washington, but we need to get this bill out of Ericksen’s committee! The new bill, as currently written, addresses social justice issues by lowering the barriers for community solar, scales back incentive rates, extends incentive time-periods, and a number of other things. You can read more at the links below.
Suggested Script: My name is _______ and I am a constituent of the ____ legislative district. I am calling to ask Senator Ericksen to schedule a vote on SB 5499, the Solar Jobs Bill. This bill supports our growing solar industry, including 150 jobs in Bellingham and 3,700 in Washington, it leverages $10 million in federal tax credits, reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, stimulates local economies, and moves us toward the future of electricity rather than chaining us to the past. Please tell the senator to come home from his $77/hour job in DC and do his job in the senate.
Contact Information: email@example.com, (360) 786-7682
Ask Whatcom County Council to Adopt Final Comp Plan Amendments for Cherry Point
Source: Re Sources for Sustainable Communities
Description: The final public hearing on the Comprehensive Plan will be held on Tuesday, May 16th. In the lead-up to the meeting, it is important to email the County Council and ask them to adopt the final amendments to the Comprehensive Plan.
Background: Though the Cherry Point coal terminal has been defeated, Cherry Point is on the map to become an export corridor for crude oil, tar sands bitumen, fracked gas and propane. Faced with proposals from multinational companies seeking to circumvent U.S. law, who may sue the county for rejecting permits and put taxpayers on the hook, Whatcom County urgently needs to make clear policies before new proposals are submitted. Until these policies are finalized, Whatcom County maintains a moratorium on permits for new developments to export unrefined fossil fuel through Cherry Point. Oil companies lobbied to lift the federal ban on crude oil export. With a drastic rise in oil from North Dakota and Alberta moving to Cherry Point by rail and pipeline, the refineries are positioned to use their shipping piers for exporting crude oil and tar sands. Crude oil export will bring simultaneously more bomb trains, more pipelines, and more tanker traffic through the Salish Sea, while undermining job security for local refinery workers. But we have legal tools to stop crude export through Washington before it begins on a mass scale. The first step is to pass amendments to Whatcom County’s Comprehensive Plan, an important growth management document which sets policies to direct zoning restrictions on permits for land and water use.
The final Comprehensive Plan amendments for Cherry Point would:
- Prevent piecemeal upgrades for oil exports by requiring “Magnuson Amendment” review of all permits that involve handling petroleum.
- Block any new proposals for shipping piers in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.
- Recognize Lummi Nation’s history and treaty-protected fishing rights.
- Complete a legal study by December 2017 to develop recommendations for legal ways the County may choose to limit the negative impacts from crude oil, coal. liquefied petroleum gases, and natural gas exports. New legislation will likely follow completion of the study.
Contact Information: Email firstname.lastname@example.org the County Council and ask them to adopt the final Comprehensive Plan amendments for Cherry Point.
Additional Information: Click through for more information on the County Council Comp Plan amendments for Cherry Point and the Magnuson Amendment.
National Level Actions / Other
(Click each topic to read more.)
Comment on EPA Rollbacks Daily Until 05/15/17: New Scripts Added!
Description: As required by law, the EPA is calling for public comment on the planned rollback of environmental regulations. Comment early and often to show your support for regulations and programs that protect the environment.
Background: The Trump Administration and EPA Director Scott Pruitt have proposed draconian cuts to EPA’s budget and roll-back of science-based regulations that protect us, our families and our environment. EPA oversees implementation of the Clean Water Act; the Clean Air Act; regulation of Toxics, Hazardous Waste Management and Disposal; and Superfund Hazardous waste cleanups. EPA also administers grants for brownfields clean up, environmental research, and environmental restoration–including the Puget Sound National Estuary Program. In accordance with Executive Order 13777 (Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda), EPA is seeking public comment on its evaluation of existing regulation. Comments must be received on or before May 15, 2017. We need to absolutely FLOOD THIS SITE with serious, well-thought-out comments.
Suggested Scripts: Click here for suggested scripts. We’ll update with new scripts as often as we can through 5/15/17, so check back often!
Call Now! Tell the White House Not to Withdraw from the Paris Accord
Source: Washington Environmental Women’s Alliance
Description: All signs indicate that the Trump administration is leaning towards pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, as soon as this week. However, senior aides at the White House are reportedly still divided on whether to withdraw from the 195-nation deal to reduce greenhouse gases and fight climate change. By all accounts, the decision is sitting on President Trump’s desk. We need to call now to make our voices heard!
Contact Information: (202) 456-1414 or https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Stay on the line until the end of the recorded message to speak to a real live operator. When you reach one, deliver a simple message: Pulling out of the Paris agreement would be a historic mistake. I support common-sense global solutions to climate change.
Call the Senate and Ask Them to Save the Methane Rule
Source: Rulesatrisk.org; New York Times Editorial Board
Description: The U.S. Senate is expected to vote by May 11 on a joint resolution (S.J. Res. 11) to repeal the Bureau of Land Management’s methane and natural gas rule (“Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation”) through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The joint resolution (H.J. Res. 36) passed the House in February 2017. Ask your Senators to vote no and to oppose all efforts to repeal the rule.
- Senator Patty Murray: WA (206) 553-5545, DC (202) 224-2621, email
- Senator Maria Cantwell, WA (206) 220-6400, DC (202) 224-3441, email
Suggested Script: I am calling to ask the Senator to vote no on Senate Joint Resolution 11 and oppose any efforts to repeal the Bureau of Land Management’s methane and natural gas waste rule through the Congressional Review Act. Capturing natural gas that is currently wasted on public lands makes economic and environmental sense. Repealing this rule would harm public health and our climate and reduce revenue to the federal government and western states.
Background: Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress has until May 11, 2017, to repeal Agency Final Rules submitted on or after June 13, 2016. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s methane and natural gas rule is a commonsense policy that requires the oil and gas industry to reduce venting, flaring and leaks at industry operations on public and tribal lands by deploying methane mitigation technology. Currently, more than $330 million worth of natural gas is wasted on public and tribal lands each year, meaning that taxpayers could lose out on $800 million in royalties over the next decade due to venting and flaring of this gas.
Repealing this rule would harm public health and reduce revenue to the federal government and Western states. The BLM estimates the rule’s net benefits range from $115 to $204 million per year. And economic studies have found the technologies and practices included in this rule to be very cost effective since the gas captured can be sold to the benefit of industry and taxpayers. Leaked natural gas contains volatile organic compounds, an asthma irritant, benzene, and other hazardous air pollutants that are known carcinogens. After Colorado implemented a similar rule, natural gas production increased, and the standard has been popular.
Commit to Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
Description: Measure your carbon footprint and develop a long-term plan for major emissions reduction in your own life. Bookmark the calculator and consult it in your decision-making.
Background: We have tremendous power to reduce carbon emissions in our own lives. This is not optional, but no one will make us do it. The transition to clean energy is happening, and needs to accelerate, and we need to be the drivers on the personal and the policy level. This means substantial change in some of our lifestyles, but a low carbon – working toward carbon neutral – lifestyle is different, but also joyful and meaningful. Measurement is accountability. Commit to measuring, making a plan, and telling your friends. This is our personal responsibility to future generations, but also to marginalized people already affected. Marching is important, but addressing climate change must be a daily practice for all of us.
Permanent Planet is a locally-developed calculator which addresses just the major contributors to emissions. The developer created the tool in his spare time and there is no monetization of the site.
From the Calendar
Every Monday: Attend a vigil hosted by C2C between 11:30a.m.-1:30p.m. or 5:00p.m. in front of City Hall. Show the powers that be that you stand by our undocumented workers and anyone else running afoul of ICE. Let the officials know it’s not alright to tear families apart! Also, Dignity Dialogues will be held on May 15th at the First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225 from 7:00-8:30p.m.
Monday, May 8, 2017 from 6:30-8:30p.m.: Join fellow community members at the May Clean Energy Activist meeting hosted by RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, 2309 Meridian St., Bellingham, Washington 98225. Please visit their Facebook page to learn more.
Monday, May 8, 2017 from 8:00-9:00p.m.: Ask Me Anything (AMA) with city council candidate Jean Layton. This AMA will be held live on the Riveters Collective Facebook group.
Thursday, May 11, 2017 from 11:00a.m.-1:30p.m.: Join friends and neighbors in Olympia to deliver over 1 million comments and petitions to protect our region from dirty fossil fuel exports. The collection will be delivered to Governor Inslee at the Washington State Capitol Campus, 416 Sid Snyder Ave SW, Olympia, WA 98504. A rally and press event will be held on the Capitol steps from 11:00a.m.-noon; and a lunch, socializing and campaign updates will follow at the United Churches of Olympia, 110 11th Ave SE from noon-1:30p.m. The event is hosted by Stand Up To Oil and Power Past Coal. Please visit their Facebook page to learn more or click here to RSVP.
Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 9:30a.m.-12:30p.m.: The Well and Columbia City Church of Hope (Seattle) present “Kids & Race: Changing the Narrative” at the First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225. This workshop will focus on identity development and cultural norms. Presenters will discuss how narratives and counter-narratives shape our children’s personal and racial identity development. Please join and spread the word on Facebook and purchase your tickets at Brown Paper Tickets.