Your Connection To Jazz, Blues and NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

King County Council approves moratorium on new, expanding fossil-fuel facilities

The King County Council passed an ordinance 6-3 on Monday night, placing a six-month moratorium on building new or expanding existing fossil-fuel facilities. Tacoma passed a similar ordinance in 2017, aimed at its port (pictured above).
Ted S. Warren
/
The Associated Press
The King County Council passed an ordinance 6-3 on Monday night, placing a six-month moratorium on building new or expanding existing fossil-fuel facilities. Tacoma passed a similar ordinance in 2017, aimed at its port (pictured above).

King County joins a group of Pacific Northwest communities that are stopping new fossil fuel projects before they start.

The County Council passed an ordinance 6-3 on Monday night, placing a six-month moratorium on building new or expanding existing fossil-fuel facilities in unincorporated King County.

Councilman Dave Upthegrove, who introduced the ordinance, says it reflects people's sense of urgency in knowing that climate change poses risks to more than the environment.

“If we the people don’t rise up collectively and take action, the real tragedy is what we’re doing to the physical and economic health of the next generation,” Upthegrove said.

Tacoma passed a similar ordinance in 2017. That one instituted a one-year moratorium on new fossil-fuel developments in its industrial port area. Whatcom County, Hoquiam, Aberdeen, Vancouver and Portland have ordinances like this, too.

King County's ordinance doesn't apply to gas stations or biofuel facilities and it doesn't directly address rail lines and pipelines.

Upthegrove says King County will use the moratorium to review land-use policies and plans to make sure they support the county's goals to reduce pollution from fossil fuels.