Inslee Speaks Out Against Fracked Gas – Now What?

The PSE-LNG facility being built on the Tacoma Tideflats is deeply, deeply flawed.  Both the process and the content of the governmental oversight are at fault.

The State Attorney General has called the official documentation governing the project “fictional.”   Governor Inslee recently came out against the use of LNG. A regional research institute familiar with such facilities nationwide has called the project the worst they’ve ever seen.

The facility’s product is not needed.  PSE says that 74% of the gas will fuel two TOTE Marine ships that make weekly runs to Alaska.  The two ships already meet environmental standards, TOTE has not even converted their ships to run on LNG and, world wide, the shipping industry is not going with LNG as the fuel of the future.   This project increasingly looks like the proverbial “white elephant.”

If you are a PSE customer, you are paying for 43% of this project and would use roughly 2% of the product.  If you live in Tacoma, you would pay for a large part of a new, required, fire station and would continue to pay for its operation and maintenance.  PSE is a private company. Their profits go to Canadian investors.

In the event of an accident at the facility, PSE insurance picks up the first $60 million and Tacoma is on the hook for the rest.  Experience at similar facilities shows that $60 million doesn’t go very far with such accidents. And Tacoma is “self insured”, meaning they don’t carry outside insurance.  Yes, really.

Additionally, many of the project permits were issued in 2015.  The science involved with natural gas has changed significantly during the ensuing four years.  Unbiased research now shows that gas, when considered from extraction through use and then life in the  atmosphere, is at least as dirty as coal and is definitely not a “bridge fuel” to sustainable energy. Construction permits are now being denied on the basis of this more recent research.

A final significant consideration that has been ignored by the project is input from the Puyallup Tribe.  The state document outlining procedures for such oversight specifically names “Tribes” as local entities that should be considered during project planning.  The Puyallup Tribe has never been consulted, even after a revised Environmental Impact Statement was required and the fact that they should be included was well known.  Their input was deliberately excluded.

We could go ahead and discuss health issues associated with projects similar to PSE-LNG.  Or the fact that clean energy production now provides more jobs than fossil fuel sourced energy.  Or we could review local environmental and safety problems in “Gasoline Alley” in Louisiana or in the Houston area.  Or we could discuss the fact that some of the engineering involved with PSE-LNG is experimental and not duplicated anywhere else in similar projects.  Etc., etc., etc..

The central fact is that this project is a loser.  It’s time to put it out of its misery.

What can you do to prevent this travesty from being inflicted upon you?

  • Call Gov. Inslee and leave a message urging him to walk his anti LNG talk and stop the Tacoma LNG project.  360-902-4111. Urge friends and colleagues to make this call.
  • You can call the office of Tacoma’s City Manager and urge her to support an unbiased Environmental Impact Statement.  253-591-5134. (The current EIS was prepared by a private company that makes its money constructing oil and gas fueling infrastructure.  In addition to “the fox designing the henhouse,” they do not have experience with what is a methane gas refinery with an 8 million gallon storage tank.  The result is the above mentioned “worst we’ve ever seen” project.)