Whatcom Wins? Resolution to Oppose Development "On or Near" Cherry Point Approved by Local Democrat Central Committee

Apparently there’s going to be little fan-fare, or media attention given to the July 18th, 2013 resolutions adopted at the Whatcom County Democrat Central Committee meeting.  There was overwhelming approval for these three resolutions, of which two did receive Bellingham Herald media attention, but not the Resolution to Honor the Lummi Nation’s Sacred Lands and Waters of Cherry Point.

It’s hard to understand why a party that says it supports labor would approve this resolution?  Especially, since it is well in advance of receiving the results from the State of Washington’s environmental impact statement (EIS), which has been given carte blanche to scope the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project impacts from an unprecedented global viewpoint.  The Department of Ecology will be looking at the effects that this project will have on train traffic, coal, site-development, employment, natural resource uses and so many other hoops-for-them-to-jump, that it would create one, huge run-on-sentence; all at an unprecedented global level.  But, what is an even greater quandary to me is; Why do the local labor halls continue to organize and support a party that has, and continues to chase out legal, viable, manufacturing and production jobs from Whatcom County?  According to my sources, the Lummi Nation didn’t ask for this resolution?  So why do it?

A recent article in the Seattle Times writes: 

Feds approve 1.4B ton coal deal with Crow Tribe

The company that wants to export coal to Asia through ports in Washington and Oregon has an agreement with the Crow Tribe that would supply more coal than is consumed in the U.S. each year.

By MATTHEW BROWN – The Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. — The U.S. government approved plans by a Montana Indian tribe to lease an estimated 1.4 billion tons of coal to a Wyoming company that’s moving aggressively to increase coal exports to Asia, the company and tribe announced Thursday.

The deal between Cloud Peak Energy and the Crow Tribe involves more coal than the U.S. consumes annually.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) approval allows Cloud Peak to begin exploration work on the Crow reservation.

Cloud Peak has pending agreements to ship more than 20 million tons of coal annually through three proposed ports in Washington and Oregon. Officials in both states oppose the port projects on environmental grounds, but federal officials said earlier this week they planned only limited environmental reviews of the projects. Read Full Story Here

How does Whatcom County win if this resolution is upheld by any elected political representative?  Does Whatcom Wins! 2013 support this resolution?  Apparently so, because the Whatcom Wins! 2013 candidates (Front row-center: Weimer and Buchanan, 2nd row-center: Browne and Mann) are standing smack-dab in the middle of the Whatcom Democrats, Whatcom Wins! 2013, promotional photo.

It makes me mad as H-E-double Hockey Sticks, to know that so many people are being put out of work, manipulated and controlled by a small group of people who rely heavily on our votes and our tax dollars for their existence.  If they want the public to trust them, then they need to back-off and let the system they created work the way it is supposed to and that is:

  • A business puts in for a permit to develop their project.
  • The project is looked at by the local planning department to make sure all legal forms and fees have been taken care of.
    • If the project requires an EIS from the state then they do it.
      • The EIS should encompass only that which concerns local impacts that this local government requires.
        • Remember the words LOCAL CONTROL?
  • The local media should give balanced reporting to the Gateway Pacific project.
    • Editorial’s on a project should stick to facts.
      • Attempts to malign a project with speculation and personal, character assassinations should be exposed for what they are and not presented as news.
  • Political Parties are entitled to their opinion, but should not be given the power to stop a project’s ability to get through the legal processes required of it.
  • If the project passes muster on all of their legal requirements, then its allowed to develop and conduct business in Whatcom County.
    • The key words here are all the legal requirements.
      • You do not get to change the rules of the game in the middle of the game because you won’t like the outcome.
  • Even with all of the money and influence of Whatcom Wins, this project continues to gain support.

At a recent public hearing on the Georgia Pacific Waterfront Redevelopment, a gentleman made this statement which holds true to so many projects that have come to Whatcom County with the potential to provide new business opportunities and jobs: SLOW MEANS NO!  That’s what’s happening in Whatcom County all the time.  They cannot stop projects, but they can slow them down to the point that good businesses understand that Whatcom County is not a friendly place to do business.  If we want to attract new businesses and keep the ones we have here, that reputation must be fixed and not with words, but with actions.

The Gateway Pacific Dry Bulk Commodities Terminal could be a very good thing  for Whatcom County.  In fact it will give Whatcom County a needed boost now and far into the future, if it’s given an open, honest forum that all projects deserve.  The people of Whatcom County need jobs, the businesses in Whatcom County need people who have jobs and not all jobs are created equal, but they are what will keep Whatcom County economically sound and pay for the needed infrastructure a growing Whatcom County needs to stay safe and healthy.

~ Kris Halterman



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  1. Bravo Kris, you stated facts and common sense. Bellingham is run by a cadre of democrats whose values seem to be driven by how many dollars they can extract from the people to support their pie in the sky projects. It’s all very well to say the unemployment rate in Whatcom County is the lowest in the state but looking deeper into that statement many of these jobs are simply part time and likely to remain so when the monstrous Obamacare black hole kicks in. When just one single volcano erupting in Iceland or the Phillipines can undo the whole worlds’ efforts to reduce atmospheric carbon just remember that mother nature is a much bigger force to be reckoned with than human beings will ever be. We need good family wage jobs like never before to assure some kind of future for generations to come. It’s time people get on board with this idea of promoting welcoming attitudes to Whatcom County – and not depend on failed government for every solution. Government has no money of its own , only what government exacts from you. Less government is therefore infinitely better for everyone’s well being.

    • Maddie, Did you look at the poverty statistics within the GPT slideshow? The City of Bellingham has a poverty level of 22.6%, City of Ferndale has a poverty level of 16.8%, the State of Washington’s poverty level is 12.5% and the cumulative poverty rate in the United States is only 14.3%. These numbers paint a very real picture of what’s happening due to the regulatory stranglehold and questionable economic leadership that’s running COB and potentially all of Whatcom County unless we elect political leadership who will do everything in their legal power to get Whatcom County working again. ~ Kris

  2. Thanks for fleshing out the actual poverty details existing in areas of Whatcom County – our elected officials seem to have fallen down on the job – however it is a widely held truth truth that prolonged democrat control leads in one direction only – bankruptcy for all and sundry and nicely lined pockets for them and their cronies.

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