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An aerial view of the west side of Lummi Island in Whatcom County, Washington.

Nathan Taft is senior digital campaigner for Stand.Earth’s SAFE Cities initiative, a growing movement of neighbors, local groups, and elected officials working together to block the expansion of fossil fuels and promote a just transition to a clean energy economy. 

Cherry Point, tucked away in the northwest corner of Whatcom County, Washington, is a strip of shoreline on the Salish Sea known as Xwe’chi’eXen to the Lummi Nation. It is home to a beautiful state-protected aquatic reserve for herring, salmon, and endangered southern resident killer whales. 

It’s also the site of three heavy shipping piers, two of which serve nearby oil refineries. If the fossil fuel industry had its way, it also would have been home to the largest coal export terminal ever proposed in North America.

Instead, Whatcom County provided a blueprint for ending fossil fuel expansion. 

On July 27, the Whatcom County Council became the first local government in the U.S. to amend its land-use law to prohibit new refineries, fossil fuel shipment facilities, coal plants, piers, and wharfs. It also requires a more rigoro... Read more

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