I will never forget that day: June 10th, 1999. I had recently finished my BS in Environmental Chemistry from Huxley College at Western Washington University. Nick Harmer (Death Cab’s bassist) and I were playing music in our group home on Ellis St across from the old television station. Suddenly, the city’s skyline was engulfed in black plumes of smoke, and a fiery explosion shook the walls of our house as the power flickered. I soon learned that a gasoline pipeline had ruptured and exploded, tragically killing three boys.
I’ve thought about those boys many times since, and recently memorialized that tragic day in our song “Kids in ‘99”. Their untimely deaths could have been prevented if the pipeline owners had taken the necessary safety precautions. But they didn’t, as a later court conviction proved.
That’s why it’s so important that we have dedicated watchdogs like RE Sources, monitoring and holding industry accountable for its actions.
That’s why it’s so important that we have dedicated watchdogs like RE Sources, monitoring and holding industry accountable for its actions. In fact, in the wake of the 1999 tragedy, RE Sources started SAFE Bellingham — a grassroots watchdog group concerned with pipeline safety. Later, through the court settlement, that group became the independent Pipeline Safety Trust, which still carries on a critical pipeline watchdog role nationally.
Every day, RE Sources is out there protecting the health and safety of you, your family, and our Northwest home. Please join me in standing with RE Sources by making a generous gift today of $100, $50, $25, or whatever you can afford.
For the truth is Big Oil’s continued ambitions to expand operations in our region still threaten our families and home towns, including:
- The tar sands pipeline that runs under the salmon spawning Nooksack River, through neighborhoods, and adjacent to the very park where the Olympic pipeline exploded, as it snakes its way to refineries in Whatcom and Skagit Counties;
- Industry’s plans for increased tanker traffic through the Salish Sea, escalating the risk of a terrible oil spill and jeopardizing the survival of orcas.
- Additional oil cars carrying explosive crude along rail lines that cross through downtowns and residential areas.
Disaster strikes quickly and none of us wants another Olympic pipeline tragedy. Please make your gift to RE Sources today so this dynamic group can continue to make change in the world. Right now they are spearheading actions to:
- Pass precedent-setting policies that block new fossil fuel shipment projects;
- Carefully watchdog ALL expansion projects proposed by industry; and
- Ensure fossil fuel companies abide by the highest environmental and public safety laws.
Partner with RE Sources, make a gift now—even $5 makes a difference — and keep your loved ones and community safe.
Death Cab for Cutie, Lead Singer and Guitarist
Photo of Ben Gibbard by Eliot Lee Hazel.