King County Votes To Ban New Fossil Fuel Projects
January 28th, 2019 (Seattle, WA): Today, Monday, Jan 28th, King County Council voted by 6-3 to pass an immediate moratorium to prohibit new fossil fuel infrastructure.
“We have a climate crisis,” said King County Councilmember Upthegrove, who introduced the ordinance. “I was fortunate that members of the public approached me with the idea for this proactive legislation to protect our communities. That is how we are going to get out of this crisis: by listening to solutions that come from the grassroots, from people rooted in their communities, working together with their elected officials.”
“Saying no to new fossil fuel infrastructure is the first step to saying yes to real climate action, yes to a just transition and yes to a healthy climate future for all,” said Jess Wallach with 350 Seattle. “That’s why more than 200 folks showed up to King County Council in the middle of the day to support this ordinance, and why thousands more King County residents called, emailed and met with their Councilmembers in the lead-up to today’s vote.”
In making this decision, King County follows in the footsteps of other communities, including Whatcom County, Tacoma, Portland, Oregon and Baltimore, Maryland, that have used land use zoning codes to ban new fossil fuel infrastructure projects.
“King County’s decision will protect the community’s health and safety from the dangerous fossil fuel expansion projects that have been looking for a toehold in the Pacific Northwest. And it sets an example of bold climate leadership that many other communities will follow,” said Alex Ramel, field director with Stand.Earth.
“Right now, Puget Sound Energy is massively expanding of fossil fuel infrastructure just over King County’s border,’ said Alec Connon with 350 Seattle, referencing the North Seattle Lateral Upgrade, which is being built in south Snohomish County and would increase Washington’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 3%. “The ordinance proactively prevents the gas industry and fossil fuel-hooked companies like Puget Sound Energy from doing something similar King County. This is an important step forward in our fight for a stable future and livable climate.”