I was disappointed that The Olympian didn’t send a reporter to the June 10 meeting in Hoquiam – “Coastal Washington: the Oil Industry’s Sacrifice Zone.” It was an important gathering of voices raising concerns and objections about the possibility of oil saturating the economy and the life of coastal communities. Larry Thevik spoke for the Washington Dungeness Crab Fisherman’s Association; he reminded everyone that the coast is both an ecological and a working-people’s zone. He spoke about the life of people who fish along the coast and how there would be no real mitigation if a spill occurs; he warned that, especially with tar sand oils, our estuary will be destroyed.
Crystal Dingler, mayor of Ocean Shores, opened with “Beaches, Birds, Clams and Oil: which of these is not like the other?” She challenged the false promise of bringing in new jobs that will only destroy other jobs. Quinault tribal president Fawn Sharp reminded everyone of the broad threat of climate change that comes with more oil dependency and talked about the impacts already seen in the Quinault River ecosystem.
Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility recently broadcast their opposition to crude oil shipment and storage in the region. From a public health point of view, it’s not just the big disasters that have serious impacts.