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British Petroleum Cherry Point Refinery and friends are presently promoting a "preserve cherry point jobs" campaign to mislead Whatcom county voters into thinking that stopping fossil fuel export will harm local jobs and taxes that support schools. The truth is that the property taxes paid by BP and Phillips 66 remain the same with or without export, as do the refining jobs to meet domestic demand for gasoline and aviation fuel.

The tourism industry is huge, but we mustn't forget the Dungeness crab commercial fishery at Cherry Point and Georgia Strait that supports families in Anacortes, Blaine, and on the Lummi Indian Reservation. The seafood processors in Blaine are some of the last jobs available in a community that once canned more salmon than anywhere else in the region.

One thing we learned watching the movie Deepwater Horizon is that British Petroleum puts greed ahead of concerns for human life and the environment. That greed led to BP paying $4.5 billion in fines and penalties in the largest criminal resolution in US history.

BP led the effort to lift the crude oil export ban, and is investing in the highly polluting Alberta tar sands that are connected by pipeline to its Cherry Point refinery and marine terminal, which is surrounded by the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve that was created in 1999 to recover the state’s once-largest herring spawning stock.

In 2000 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitted BP to build a new tanker dock at Cherry Point without conducting an environmental impact statement. In 2005, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals mandated that the Corps prepare a full EIS and re-evaluate whether the permit is in compliance with federal law–the Magnuson Amendment–“to reduce the risk of an oil spill caused by increasing the number of tankers transiting the narrow waterways through the San Juan Islands.”

Between June 2007 and February 2010, BP had 829 refinery violations as compared with 33 for the rest of the industry. In 2011, federal prosecutors sought to revoke BP’s criminal probation that had been on and off since 2001, stating BP is a “recidivist offender and repeated violator of environmental laws and regulations.”

In 2016, BP settled out of court with Whatcom County, agreeing to pay property taxes it tried to get out of through sleight-of-hand. http://www.cascadiaweekly.com/cw/currents/27038