The problems of PSE LNG...


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.  


Environmental Justice:

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.

April 1st, 2019

Broad Coalition Responds to Tacoma LNG Facility Environment

“It is our moral obligation- to the planet and to each other- to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure.” 

A broad, diverse coalition stands against it.

Who has stepped up to be critical of this project?

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

Governor Inslee

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

350 Tacoma

350 Seattle

350 Org

Sierra Club of WA

Sierra Club-Tatoosh

Earth Ministry

UWT Founding Faculty

Advocates for A Cleaner Tacoma

Redefine Tacoma

Backbone Campaign

Climate First Responders

Protectors of the Salish Sea

Indivisible Tacoma

Red Line Salish Sea

Rising Tide

Surfriders Foundation

La Resistencia

WA State Plant for the Planet

Washington Environmental Council

Citizens for a Healthy Bay

Our Revolution Coalition (Pierce Co)

Democratic Socialists of America

Mazaska Talks

Sunrise Movement Tacoma

Legal Rights for the Salish Sea


Vashon Climate Action Group

Power Past Fracked Gas Coalition

Indivisible Vashon

Mosquito fleet

Civic Actions for the Salish Sea

Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility

Tacoma Neighborhood Councils

This is Zero Hour

Earth Justice

Salmon Defense

Center for Sustainable Economy

Stand Earth

Earth Justice

Over 68,000 people have signed the NO LNG petition

Step up and BE A PART

"It hurts to see our region so compromised by the lure of short-term gain..."

  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.

Read the UWT Founding Faculty Letter Opposing the PSE LNG here