May 21, 2017

Dear members of the Tacoma Planning Commission,

Fossil fuel industries have significant negative impacts on the community – from the congestion caused by mile-long oil trains that stopped other flow of commerce to the air pollution to the threat of oil spills, derailments, and other types of disasters. We believe that the future of the Tideflats should be transitioning away from fossil fuel industries and towards clean energy industries that provide family-wage paying salaries without the health and safety risks.

While the City and Port of Tacoma as well as the Puyallup Tribe undergo a multi-year sub-area planning process for the Tideflats, our community will be left vulnerable. An interim regulation is needed immediately to preserve the ability of the City and broader community to put in place the policies and vision for the future of the Tideflats without being tied to projects that are ‘grandfathered in’ during this uncertain time when the fossil fuel industry is looking to increase its extraction and increase the amount of products being transported through the Pacific Northwest.

I support passage of an interim regulation to put a pause on any new fossil fuel proposals in the Tideflats.

Key items include:
  • Pass an interim regulation, or moratorium, effective for not longer than 180 days following its effective date, but may be renewed as necessary until the sub-area planning process is complete and the recommended policy changes are made,
  • Cover fossil fuels, including but not limited to all forms of crude oil whether stabilized or not; raw bitumen, diluted bitumen, or syncrude; coal; methane, propane, butane, and other “natural gas” in liquid or gaseous formats; and condensate.
  • Apply to bulk fossil fuel facilities that provide access to marine, rail, or pipeline transport; or that provide storage capacity.
This will not impact:
  • Non-fossil fuel industrial activity in the Tideflats. For example, the temporary regulation would have no impact on WestRock, Schnitzer Steel, etc.
  • Approved fossil fuel facilities, such as Targa Sound Terminal or the PSE LNG plant.
  • Improvements to existing facilities to upgrade for the safety, efficiency, seismic resilience, or operations of existing energy infrastructure.
  • Jobs or job creation in the Port of Tacoma.


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