LNG (liquefied natural gas) is composed of methane (which is 84x more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide in its first 20 years in the atmosphere). "Natural" gases (not just methane, but a range of gases extracted in the process, like butane, ethane, etc.) are typically extracted via hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") deep rock formations underground. The gases are then refined to methane, which is then cryogenically condensed to 1/600th its volume to a liquid, by cooling it to -260 degrees F. (at which temperature it must be maintained) for storage and distribution. If it spills, it expands back to 600 times its volume and will dissipate as a gas... that is, unless it first finds a flame or a spark.
Puget Sound Energy (PSE) wants to put their 8 million gallon, 14-story tall LNG tank on the Blair-Hylebos peninsula in the Port of Tacoma. The site is located on the Cascadian fault in a zone at risk for earthquakes, lahars, and tsunamis. A study conducted by the City of Tacoma predicts the Port will be flooded by 2050 due to global warming. This portion of the peninsula was tideflats for millennia that the Puyallup Tribe regularly gathered shell fish, until it was filled with industrial slag and dredged sediment of the other waterways in the early 20th century. It is immediately adjacent to the OxyChem toxic superfund site, and the underground plume of that disaster reaches into the proposed LNG site.
This is also in the heart of a metropolitan area where over 200,000 people live, work, and play. Multiple schools and other public facilities are within 2 miles of the site. The Puyallup Tribe has a marina about 400 meters from the site. Multiple emergency computer modeling scenarios have shown that the potential damage of a major LNG accident at this site could do significant, life threatening damage for miles. PSE has stated they intend to distribute LNG from this site via barge, truck, rail and pipeline. Yet, no analysis has been done (or at least made available to the public ) that examines the risks of these processes to the local community. There have been numerous LNG accidents worldwide that demonstrate the many risks that would be newly brought to bear on the local people. For instance, the 2014 LNG facility explosion in Plymouth, WA did major damage and triggered the evacuation of everybody within two miles of the facility. In 2018, a liquefied natural gas tanker truck accident in Australia resulted in a massive fire and a 2.6km exclusion zone. You don't have to spend long online to find many tragic accidents have happened via natural gas facilities, pipelines, storage and distribution . Keep in mind, the Port of Tacoma is already a burgeoning petro-chemical industrial area, which, if there were a major LNG/gas accident, it could have a catastrophic cascading effect of fires and explosions. PSE states that they intend to truck LNG out twice a day. A 10,000 gallon tanker of LNG would become 6 million gallons of methane if it were to spill. The FEIS of this project did not analyze the risks of this process, as well as many others, at all.
Who is Puget Sound Energy:
While it sounds like a public utility, PSE is actually a for-profit corporation based in Bellevue and controlled by foreign investment groups, primarily in Canada.
Through tax breaks and rate-payer subsidies this project is being largely paid for by the public, while the profits would flow to those private investors, and Tacomans would be stuck with the pollution (this is a refinery and there will be significant airborne exhaust toxins emitted) ... and potentially catastrophic risks. The site seeks to refine and distribute LNG 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The 300+ million dollar project is insured for a measly 50 million, while Puget LNG, LLC. is shell company of Puget Sound Energy. If things go disastrous, Puget LNG, LLC goes bankrupt, PSE (and their investors) walk free, leaving the burden of clean up and restitution to the Port and City to carry.
Over 1,600 men and women detained at the Northwest Detention Center (a for-profit immigration prison) would be sitting ducks in the event of an emergency, as there is no evacuation plan other than to “shelter in place”.
The site this project is being built upon is on the tideflats of the Puyallup tribe's reservation, which was guaranteed via treaty rights to be accessible by them for hunting and fishing, in perpetuity .
Indigenous people and residents of rural communities bear the brunt of harm caused by fracking wells and natural gas pipelines, happening now in British Columbia, where this fracked gas will be coming from.
People of color and of low income are the first to be impacted by climate crisis, and it is being caused largely by fossil fuel industries, like Puget LNG.
The Puyallup Tribe of Indians
Affiliated Tribes of North West Indians
National Congress of American Indians
Water Warriors Council
Native American Caucus of Washington State Democrats
Native Daily Network
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
27th Legislative District Democrats
29th Legislative District Democrats
32nd Legislative District Democrats
36th Legislative District Democrats
37th Legislative District Democrats
43rd Legislative District Democrats
46th Legislative District Democrats
48th Legislative District Democrats
Pierce County Democrats
King County Democratic Central Committee
Washington State Federation for Democratic Women
Environment and Climate Caucus of the Washington State Democratic Party
Washington State Progressive Caucus
Washington State Democratic Central Committee
Snohomish County Democratic Central Committee
City of Tacoma Human Rights Commission
City of Seattle
Sierra Club of WA
UWT Founding Faculty
Advocates for A Cleaner Tacoma
Climate First Responders
Protectors of the Salish Sea
Red Line Salish Sea
WA State Plant for the Planet
Washington Environmental Council
Citizens for a Healthy Bay
Our Revolution Coalition (Pierce Co)
Democratic Socialists of America
Sunrise Movement Tacoma
Legal Rights for the Salish Sea
Vashon Climate Action Group
Power Past Fracked Gas Coalition
Civic Actions for the Salish Sea
Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility
Tacoma Neighborhood Councils
This is Zero Hour
Center for Sustainable Economy
Over 68,000 people have signed the NO LNG petition
Five founding faculty members of the University of Washington - Tacoma wrote a well-researched letter in opposition to the PSE LNG facility to WA Governor Inslee in January of 2017.