No New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure in King County

King County leaders


Tell King County, WA leaders that now is the time to ban all new fossil fuel infrastructure and protect our communities from toxic air, water and climate pollution.

To: King County leaders
From: [Your Name]

Dear King County Executive Constantine and King County Council,

King County is at a crossroads: we can get locked into decades of toxic fossil fuel infrastructure, or we can lead the way towards a healthy future for all.

Fossil fuel infrastructure is fueling the climate crisis - which the World Health Organization has declared the greatest threat to public health of our time. Here in the Northwest, the Washington State Department of Health reports that climate change is likely to increase rates of heat related illnesses; respiratory illness; vector-, water-, and food-borne diseases; and mental health stress. These health risks are disproportionately distributed, with communities of color and low-income communities being impacted first and worst.

Fossil fuel infrastructure like coal mines, gas pipelines and oil trains also poses immediate health and safety risks to King County residents, including: cancer-causing air and water pollution; toxic emissions from pipeline compressor stations; catastrophic explosions along oil and gas pipelines and rail corridors. For people living and working near fossil fuel infrastructure, this means increased rates of respiratory illness, heart attacks, cancer, birth defects, stroke and cerebrovascular disease, emergency hospitalization and premature death.

Fortunately, there are tools that local jurisdictions can use to prohibit the expansion of dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure. Local governments have constitutional authority to protect the health and safety of their residents, and this translates into the authority to regulate fossil fuel infrastructure. Northwest communities like Portland, Hoquiam, Aberdeen, Tacoma and Whatcom County have successfully changed their land use zoning code to prohibit dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure. King County can lift up this innovative strategy to protect our communities from toxic air, water and climate pollution.

There’s no room for fossil fuel infrastructure in our healthy future. That’s why I’m calling on you to take bold action now and pass an ordinance prohibiting all new fossil fuel infrastructure in King County.