See attached my letter to City of Tacoma/City Council regarding their intransigence on fossil fuel development at the Port. The evidence is piling up showing how devastating their intransigence is and will be. The dangers are real, present, and will be long-lasting. Please consider submitting a letter as well. I have made changes to the form letter to better represent my position but also because it helps these submissions to count as stand alone comments.
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“As the IPS Committee nears completion of its process reviewing and considering amendments for the Tideflats Non-Interim Regulations, I urge you to resist pressure from the fossil fuel industry and hold the line on expansions of existing fossil fuel facilities.
Specifically, I implore you to direct the IPS committee reject any amendments that allow percentage expansion of existing fossil fuel facilities for anything other than clean and renewable fuels, that allow unnecessary facility capacity expansions in the name of maintenance and safety upgrade projects, that exempt refining, transshipment, and storage of marine fuels, or exempt capacity increases for military purposes without written requests and verification from military officials with proper authority. The presence of these dangerous and irresponsible industries will have catastrophic impacts on our communities if the city maintains its stubbornness on this issue.
I also request that the IPS Committee, at the very least, MAINTAIN the Planning Commission recommendation to require conditional use permits for renewable fuels projects and chemical uses. The Non-Interim Regulations are a critical opportunity to promote clean and renewable fuels projects on the Tideflats, and a conditional use permit process would help ensure these projects are truly clean and don’t pose unacceptable risks or impacts. If there is any hope to restore public trust in the way that the City does business on behalf of it’s residents, this will be a good first step. We deserve this additional level of scrutiny and public process required for a conditional use permit. We deserve to be benefitting from investments in clean energy and policies that are aligned with the necessary emission reduction pathways to achieve our climate goals.
For years the Tacoma Tideflats have seen one dangerous fossil fuel project proposal after another, while the Interim Regulations have allowed existing fossil fuel facilities to expand unchecked. Passing Non-Interim Regulations that allow existing facilities to continue expanding through carve outs and exemptions–after over four years of public comment and engagement calling to close this dangerous loophole–is simply unacceptable. I’m spiritually, mentally, and physically exhausted by the knowledge that the Bay is so polluted and the City continues to allow for endless exploitation and abuse of these waters, our relative. Our first medicine.
Our community has had enough. We have seen the City Council repeatedly fail to take action: ignoring the overwhelming public testimony, the Puyallup Tribe’s clear and persistent calls for action, two separate Planning Commission processes recommending closing this loophole, and the City’s own existing policies that consider high risk fossil fuel facilities incompatible with the City’s goals and priorities.
For years, this Council has placed the fossil fuel industry’s interests above the public interest. The IPS Committee and the full Council must move forward Non-Interim Regulations that finally prohibit expansions of existing fossil fuel facilities and put Tacoma on the path to a clean energy economy.
I am tired of your intransigence, especially in light of the climate realities we see unfolding daily. The snow pack on Mt. Rainier will not be replenished for centuries – and if you had listened to the community for the last four years, we would be farther along in efforts to reverse these devastating results. Please start the clock now in reversing standard operating procedures.