beyond fossil fuels

working with our community to stop fossil fuel exports that threaten our islands

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limited fossil fuel exports

Oil extraction from tar sands and shale deposits opened vast new reserves in Canada and the United States. This led to numerous proposed expansion projects for coal, crude tar sands oil (diluted bitumen), and Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). Dramatic increase in product means dramatic increase in fossil fuel shipments, steeply escalating the potential for an oil spill or explosion on land or sea.

Unfortunately the San Juan Island region is unprepared to effectively respond to a conventional oil spill, much less diluted bitumen. Friends is dedicated to preventing fossil fuels from degrading the Salish Sea.

oil by rail

Though there are no trains in the San Juan Islands, the islands are still connected to the effects of what happens by rail. A spill on the tracks in the broader region only takes minutes or hours to spill into the marine waters of the San Juans or the rivers and streams that feed them. The aging bridge and rail infrastructure cannot withstand the proposed increase in oil train traffic. The combination of poor infrastructure and highly volatile fuel poses unprecedented risks to public safety and the environment.

just transitions

Stopping fossil fuels is not enough….we must replace the petroleum-based fuels and products with alternative transportation, fibres, and soil nutrients. Also part of this transition are climate resiliency planning and policy for changing climate conditions (increased storm events, sea level rise, and drought).

Watch video here.

related news

Friends scores a win for orca protection

March 17, 2022

Friends of the San Juans recently scored a decisive legal victory against fossil-fuel giant Phillips 66, representing an important win for critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales. On February 28th, the Washington State Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Friends in a lawsuit regarding Phillips 66’s expansion of its Ferndale, WA, refinery. In 2019 … read more

It wasn’t until 1979 that San Juan County got a comprehensive growth plan and that was largely due to the Friends of the San Juan’s being there to advocate for the shoreline and the ecosystem. Since then, there have been constant waves of pressure by developers. Friends have risen each time, fighting to protect this fragile and precious place.

Liza Michaelson

member, San Juan Island