As a retired refinery worker and union officer, I know that the refining industry has provided significant economic benefits to Skagit and Whatcom counties for nearly 70 years.
History teaches, however, that we can not assume those benefits will last forever.
The reality of climate change and the need to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels to reduce global warming will create unique economic uncertainty for fossil fuel communities like ours.
Whether we like it or not, the move away from fossil fuels has the potential to harm our local economy much more than most.
Therefore, we must consider how to manage the transition so that we maximize benefits by minimizing economic harm.
This is part of what is referred to as Just Transition. We must understand that even though the transition is underway, there may be no justice in it for communities like ours unless we insist upon it.
To this end, we must elect representatives who not only understand this reality but who will protect our best interests no matter what the special interests want.
I am writing in support of such a representative. Her name is Liz Lovelett.
She has proven to be a pragmatic, fair-minded leader on the Anacortes City Council and in the state Legislature as our state senator for the 40th District.
She deserves our continued support as our senator in the upcoming elections.
Her ability to listen effectively and then make decisions in support of the common good serves us all well, particularly in the partisan world we face today.
Fossil fuel communities like ours need this balanced leadership.
We can hope for justice all we want, but we will not achieve those goals unless our leaders have our backs when the heavy doors close and the deals get done.
We can trust Liz Lovelett.