Whatcom county’s city council has approved a landmark environmental measure banning all new fossil fuel infrastructure including refineries and coal-fired power plants. The climate action policy was unanimously approved by the council and also requires existing fossil fuel companies to offset any extra planet-heating gases emitted from expansion.
Whatcom County, located in the northwest corner of the state, has long struggled with air pollution from its existing five oil refineries. Spurred by heatwaves and devastating climate impacts on local fisheries, the new measure aims to mitigate climate change while encouraging a transition to green energy.
This new measure is in line with the state’s climate action law which will ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2030.