Monday, November 3, 2014

Why I'm supporting Bob Burr for Public Utilities District

Q: "Why has the PUD already awarded a thirty year contract to Gateway Terminal for almost two billion gallons [per year] for water." [LVW moderator]
A: "Why did they ? Beats the heck out of me! This contract was inherited or bought from Pacific International Terminals. It was set to expire in 2015. It was renewable on a year to year basis and there was no need whatsoever to extend that for thirty years. We have potential water shortage problems in this county,   We certainly have problems with water rights and to commit two billion gallons a year for thirty years was nonsensical and nearly evil." PUD #1 Candidate Bob Burr from COB Youtube video starting here
Baring some miracle of new energy, the next twenty years of Whatcom County's economic history will bring increasing involvement with the carbon club. As if two oil refineries, expanded natural gas and oil pipelines, and the nations's planned largest coal terminal were not enough, we can expect our nearby location to Vancouver, B.C. (where they are now not just shipping coal but Albertan oil) will intertwine our two urban economies with the energy economy.   This counts as a bittersweet economic development even if you are not an environmentalist or allergic asthmatic. Extra tax monies from the mountains of profit generated by the carbon club doesn't necessarily go to the population nearby the resource economies locale. Good examples of this are West Virginia and most of the Middle East. But there are other "carbon club" communities singularly impoverished here on the West coast of America. The California cities of Richmond and Carson don't ever make those "top ten places to retire" lists.

Ideally, you want Democratic, anti-business, anti-corporate candidates in position of power when your community is about to be dominated by the "carbon club".  Because otherwise, the carbon club will run right over you and the rest of your community. There are any number of documentaries you can watch to prove this: Everything from Gasland to Coal Country.  If you want, you can also just visit downtown Richmond, California.  Maybe book a room there for a week or so. Hey! It's very close to Berkeley and San Francisco. And the hotel rates will probably be cheaper!
"[Jeffrey McClure] is part of the commission that voted unanimously to guarantee two billion gallons of Nooksack river water each year to the coal terminal proponents which they will use to water down acre after acre of six story high coal piles. The PUD is not really a PUD it is an IUD , an Industrial Utilities District. They do very little other than to provide water to Cherry Point and electricity to one customer there. I want to put the public back in the utilities district. It's unexercised water rights must go to the people and the farms that feed them." PUD #1 Candidate Bob Burr COB Youtube video from here.
Yes. Bob Burr is right. The public needs to be put first in an urban area dominated by industry because otherwise export industries from the carbon club will care little about the deterioration of your urban core or agricultural land and more about the expansion of their facilities and profits. Industry and "destination locations" may be able to co-exist by some miracle; but I have some considerable skepticism whether such a dream is possible.  Just look what fracked oil has done for beautiful, once family friendly Williston, North Dakota!  And with an expansion of carbon club facilities for shale oil her in the fourth corner don't think for a minute that fracking can't come here. On the contrary, the 'Bellingham Play' is at the top of list for fracked energy resources in WA, according to some.

Burr is right. The existing PUD heedlessly guaranteed a thirty year lease. It could have been a recurring political lever that a thoughtful legal system could have used to allow surcharges and tariffs to recoup environmental and health damages suffered by residents by industry. In truth, the existing PUD members should probably all have been recalled over this travesty. Electing Bob Burr is a good first step toward returning power to the people of Whatcom County and providing for their safety and prosperity.

No comments: