Letter: Contributions by Navy vital to Whidbey community


I am writing to express my support for the United States Navy and its operations at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. While there has been criticism of the Navy’s plans to increase Growler flights, it is crucial to recognize the tremendous economic and cultural benefits the Navy brings to Island County, their efforts to follow existing laws, and the considerable effort the Navy has put towards their relationship with the community.

NAS Whidbey plays a significant role in the local economy, providing numerous job opportunities for the community and creating a positive ripple effect throughout the region. The base supports various businesses, from small shops to larger industries, and contributes to the overall economic stability and growth of Island County.

Moreover, the Navy personnel who serve at NAS Whidbey enrich our community with their diverse backgrounds and professions. They come from various regions, cultures and walks of life, strengthening the fabric of our society and broadening our horizons.

Regarding the recent federal court ruling that criticized the Navy’s decision to increase Growler flights, I would like to draw attention to the Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. This decision finds that CO2 emissions are not a gas controlled by existing environmental regulations. Given this ruling, it is essential to reconsider the magistrate’s findings in the context of current legal standards.

Considering the West Virginia v. EPA decision, it is worth noting that the Navy has made efforts to comply with existing laws and regulations in their environmental assessments. By adhering to the legal framework available at the time, the Navy demonstrated its commitment to balancing operational needs and environmental concerns.

An important aspect to consider is that when people purchase or rent properties in North and Central Whidbey, they sign an acknowledgment of the noise levels associated with Navy operations. By signing this acknowledgment, property owners and tenants accept the existing conditions and make a conscious decision to reside in the area despite the noise.

While it is important to address environmental concerns and find a balance between the Navy’s operations and community well-being, we must also appreciate the significant contributions the Navy makes to our region. We should strive for a solution that upholds our national security, supports our local economy, respects the diverse community that makes Island County unique, and considers the Navy’s efforts to comply with the law. We are all part of the community, and the value the Navy adds far outweighs the negatives, including the jet noise.

James Peterson