Maritime Maneuvers

As noted in the November 27 article at the San Juan Islander, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has received a petition to delist the Orca whales of the San Juan archipelago under the Endangered Species Act. The petition was submitted by the California-based Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), one of several right-wing legal foundations in the US founded by industry magnates to undermine civil rights, environmental protection and occupational safety. A number of personnel from these legal foundations found employment in the Reagan/Bush cabinets, including US Attorney General Ed Meese, and Interior Secretaries James Watt and Gail Norton.

PLF, originally funded by the California Chamber of Commerce, was active in undermining the Growth Management Act in Washington state, serving as legal counsel during the 1990s to property rights activists in Puget Sound. I noted their involvement with these hooligans in my polemic memoir Blind Spots.

While the Pacific Legal Foundation petition to remove protections from the endangered Orcas might just be part of their ordinary daily business, I suspect it might also have something to do with the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export facility, that would bring an additional 487 bulk cargo vessels to the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve via Haro Strait and Boundary Pass–a mammoth project that would have profound impacts on the endangered Chinook salmon and Orca whales. Based on experience, that would fit with the PLF strategy, mission and purpose.

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