As many of you know, the Puyallup Tribe and concerned residents of Tacoma and beyond have been fighting Puget Sound Energy’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility for years now. In reality it is a fracked methane gas refinery (also producing other explosive gases for sale) and distribution center that is being built on Puyallup Tribal land without their consent and will only perpetuate climate damage for decades to come. To top it off, Puget Sound Energy is aiming to have their customers pay for 43% of the facility while only scheduled to receive about 2% of its use.
While demonstrations against the facility may have died down over the last year, the action is heating up in the courtrooms. The Puyallup Tribe and Earthjustice, representing several environmental groups, have challenged the issuance of the air permit (really the permit to pollute our air) and will have their cases heard by the Pollution Control Hearings Board starting mid April. What the case will reveal is that the last environmental review was inadequate and that the project has changed in important ways since first approved. Even the Attorney General’s office has joined the lawsuit by issuing an “amicus brief,” explaining what went wrong with the permitting process.
With that legal appeal fast approaching, Puget Sound Energy is trying to get permission to turn the facility on before the verdict comes back. We need your help telling the Utilities and Transportation Commission to break the cycle of environmental racism and injustice often a part of fossil fuel projects–make PSE wait for the Tribe and community members to have their day in court! The permitting process for this facility has been controversial from the start, and even the WA Attorney General has joined the legal calls for the final permit to be invalidated.
PSE is Unsafe
Puget Sound Energy is a problematic utility on many fronts. Following an underground gas leak in Seattle’s Central District that resulted in the pavement catching fire and neighborhood evacuations, CM Kshama Sawant has called for the Utilities and Transportation Commission to conduct a deep investigation of PSE gas infrastructure. From the 2016 explosion in Greenwood that leveled three businesses, to the leak that delayed flights at Boeing Field last month, there are many examples of the need for more scrutiny. Please send a personalized letter to the WA Utilities and Transportation Commission about why you think it’s important for this investigation to happen to protect our communities. Talking Points and Instructions here!
Flags for the Future
To help bring attention to the LNG facility before the trial, let’s surround the construction site with positive thoughts of alternate possibilities in the form of colorful flags – each of your “tweet” sized messages will be written onto a flag and hung along the fence. Answer the question that speaks most to you:
- What do you want to see instead of LNG?
- What do you envision for this space?
- What do you envision for a future without fracking?
- What or who are you defending when you fight climate change?
Want to learn more about Puget Sound Energy and their wicked ways?
Check out recordings from a recent five part online series about PSE, in this Resources Doc. We dug into how PSE uses deception, misinformation, and manipulation, the financial flaws of LNG and PSE’s for-profit business model, how their decisions impact Indigenous sovereignty and pipeline politics, what PSE is doing to undermine Washington’s climate progress and ways we can as communities can take our power back!
In PSE: On Trial in the Public Opinion, we held a mock trial and Puget Sound Energy was found guilty for their crimes by all the people attending the event as “jurors”! The trial is followed by a real press conference with Earthjustice and community speakers about the Tacoma LNG legal proceedings.
Washington Needs New Rules for Fossil Fuels
With better permitting regulations, PSE’s polluting LNG facility wouldn’t have been allowed. We have a huge opportunity this year to help shape the new rules used by the Department of Ecology. For too long, the health impacts of air pollution have gone unanalyzed when permitting toxic facilities and this is our chance to demand things like Tribal consultation, community health assessments, and cumulative air impacts are part of the process and in place to protect our communities. Learn more and send a written comment at bit.ly/NewRulesWA or check out this recording from a recent informational event with a powerful lineup of speakers, New Rules for fossil fuels: Centering Frontline Communities