Letter to Tacoma City Council – Strengthen Interim Regulations

Dear Mayor Woodards and Council Members,

First off, let us thank you for past years of interim regulations that have protected Tacoma from new polluting projects while we commence the subarea planning process.

Now, with another term of the protections about to elapse, we write to ask you to renew the interim regulations again.

And to make them stronger.

As they currently stand, interim regulations only pause new heavy industrial and fossil fuel uses, leaving expansion of currently existing uses unchecked. As you know, both Targa and U.S. Oil & Refining are expanding. Pausing new and expanded heavy industrial development will allow for a more even-handed, deliberative planning process, in order to realize the city that we all want and deserve.  Even the Planning Department, from our understanding, initially suggested a 10% cap on expansion during the entire subarea planning process.

As we are sure you are aware, the most recent report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes clear, there is simply no more time to waste. We can’t be building any new fossil fuel infrastructure or capacity if we hope to avoid the most dire consequences of the climate crisis.  We are already feeling the effects now (just ask LA how they are doing) and there will be severe effects in Tacoma within a mere 20 years. 

Did you see the new study about coastal city flooding? https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/29/climate/coastal-cities-underwater.html

You can see what the study predicts for Tacoma here:

https://coastal.climatecentral.org/map/12/-122.4568/47.2493/?theme=sea_level_rise&map_type=coastal_dem_comparison&elevation_model=coastal_dem&forecast_year=2050&pathway=rcp45&percentile=p50&return_level=return_level_0&slr_model=kopp_2014

We care deeply about Tacoma, our families, and our community, and urge you to act locally to do what is within your power.

Studies show that good jobs in the clean energy sector now outnumber jobs in fossil fuels 3:1. The subarea planning process presents a real opportunity to build a new destiny for Tacoma—one that is cleaner, healthier, with good family-wage jobs in the green economy.

We have been turning out in an overwhelming majority for strengthened interim regulations these past years, using what power we have, our voices, to ask you to wield yours in our collective best interest.  On Tuesday, November 12th, we will be back again for the final reading and asking yet again. 350 Tacoma will be there in solidarity with the Sunrise Movement youth and presenting a petition to the City Council signed by hundreds of concerned local residents.

Please use the time between now and then to take this request seriously and consider it in your upcoming study sessions.  Please draft an amendment to ban expansion of current fossil fuel uses and have it ready to present on November 12th.

For a better tomorrow,

350 Tacoma

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