Earlier this year, the community of Vancouver, WA and the Stand Up To Oil campaign stopped Tesoro Savage’s proposal to build the largest oil terminal in North America at Vancouver’s port. While we’ve celebrated this victory of protecting our state from more fossil fuels, WEC is now working with the community to take on what comes next: building a clean energy economy and a vibrant, healthy community. In the words of Linda Garcia with the Fruit Valley Neighborhood Association, “I think a lot of us know what comes next. We’re ready.”
Right now, we have an opportunity to engage in the Port of Vancouver’s update of its Strategic Plan. By acting together now, we can help shape the Port’s direction for years ahead. We envision a strong stance against new fossil fuel infrastructure and a promotion of renewable energy, energy conservation, labor standards and worker safety, community and public benefit, social equity, and more. We have this opportunity right now in Vancouver, but the impact isn’t isolated to Southwest Washington.
Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart said it well, “Together, we can stop something like Tesoro from happening, and no matter how much money they spend, we can stop it. We can start moving towards other initiatives that switch us to a carbon-free economy.”
Our communities are all connected – by the rail lines, by the shorelines, and by our economy. We have seen the power of this connection through the Stand Up To Oil and the Power Past Coal campaigns, like when community members from Spokane traveled to Vancouver or Hoquiam to testify against a terminal that would result in more dangerous trains going through their region. This same connection stays strong when we are fighting for something positive, like climate action.
WEC and our partners across Washington are now taking on the herculean task of passing a ballot initiative to invest in clean energy like wind and solar, healthy forests, and clean water. And at the same time, we are holding the line against the fossil fuel industry. Let’s work together to create something new that incentivizes clean energy, healthy communities, and sustainable family-wage jobs in these same communities that have been battling so hard for so many years for better options for economic development.
To learn more about our ballot initiative, visit wecprotects.org/1631.