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Whatcom County extends moratorium on crude oil exports

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — The Whatcom County Council has extended for six months a moratorium on shipments of unrefined fossil fuels out of the Cherry Point area.

The county voted 6 to 1 Monday night to temporarily prohibit new permit applications for facilities that ship crude oil and other unrefined fossil fuels that aren’t processed or consumed in the area.

The ordinance says it’s needed to protect the public while the county weighs changes to its land-use plan that may restrict future export of crude oil and other fossil fuels out of Cherry Point.

Cherry Point is the site of two oil refineries, BP and Phillips 66, which have in recent years expanded facilities to accept crude oil shipments by train.

Supporters say the restriction is needed after the federal government lifted a 40-year ban on crude exports and opened the way for oil to be exported through the state’s refineries.

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