Bellingham 'coal train' opponents to discuss regulatory options at WWU Feb. 24

Stoney Bird and Rick Dubrow, the chair and vice chair of the No Coal Political Action Committee, will present “Our Right to Decide! Why We Need the Bellingham Community Bill of Rights to Stop the Coal Trains” as part of Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series at noon on Friday, Feb. 24 in Academic West room 304 on the Western campus.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Four decades have been given to the regulatory system to restore environmental quality, but that approach is failing by nearly all measures, event organizers say. A “rights-based approach,” championed by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, protects 140 municipalities from further impact. Such ordinances ban a threatened impact rather than simply “mitigating” it into an impact with a green veneer, according to organizers. Using this model, the No Coal PAC hopes to stop coal trains from harming Bellingham and the region.

Bird served in the Peace Corps in Libya and Tunisia, and then worked for many years as an international corporate business lawyer, first with Mobil Oil Corporation and then with Harris Corporation, a Fortune 300 electronics firm.

Dubrow earned a bachelor’s degree in Management and a master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He co-founded Sustainable Connections, Futurewise Whatcom, Transition Whatcom and Living Democracy and has served on Re-Sources’ board of directors for nearly 16 years.

Anyone interested in this topic is encouraged to come and participate; the presentation will include a question-and-answer period. The speaker series is held by Western’s Huxley College of the Environment to bring together the environmentally minded community and other interested members of the WWU and Bellingham communities. Speakers address topics of contemporary environmental concern in the region and the world.

For more information, please contact the main office of Huxley College of the Environment, at (360) 650-3520.

Western’s Huxley College of the Environment is one of the oldest environmental colleges in the nation and a recognized national leader in producing the next generation of environmental stewards. The College’s academic programs reflect a broad view of the physical, biological, social and cultural world. This innovative and interdisciplinary approach makes Huxley unique. The College has earned international recognition for the quality of its programs.

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