Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor  

May 14, 2019

Dear Governor Inslee,

Thank you for standing with Washington communities who are fighting for a healthy and just climate future, and for announcing your opposition to the Tacoma LNG facility and Kalama methanol refinery. As your statement acknowledged, we need to update the way our state assesses these types of projects to respond to the latest science on fossil fuels and fracked gas. We appreciate your commitment to work with agency directors to chart a way forward that ensures the full costs of fossil fuel projects are evaluated and integrated into decision-making.

We urge you to ensure that any fracked gas project proposed for Washington State is held to the highest standards for environmental review, including thorough analysis of all health and safety risks, best available science, and full consultation with Tribal nations.

Here in Washington, the proposed Kalama methanol refinery is poised to be our state’s largest source of climate pollution by 2025. It comes with staggering health, safety and environmental risks, and an equally staggering rate of fracked gas consumption – roughly one-third of the state’s total gas use. Similarly, the Tacoma Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility, currently being built within Puyallup Tribal Territory without the Puyallup Tribe’s consent, presents serious climate and public safety concerns inadequately addressed by local review agencies. Also devastating to the climate, but much less visible, are “upgrades” to existing gas pipelines that would lock us into decades of carbon pollution, like the North Seattle Lateral Upgrade project – which could increase our state’s annual carbon footprint by 5% at a time when we need to be doing everything in our power to reduce emissions.

Moreover, the permitting for these projects has consistently failed to consider the full environmental, social and climate costs of fracked gas. The Environmental Impact Statements for Kalama methanol, Tacoma LNG and the North Seattle Lateral Upgrade are inadequate and greatly underestimate the climate, air pollution and seismic risks for these facilities.

As the Washington State Attorney General’s office has pointed out, the SEIS for Tacoma LNG is insufficient. Most recently the Puyallup Tribe has called for a supplemental environmental review that honors the Tribe’s legal rights to consultation and uses best available science to evaluate the full climate impacts of LNG. Meanwhile in Kalama, community and environmental advocates have vocally raised concerns that the developer of the world’s largest fracked gas-to-methanol refinery continues to downplay the impact of consuming over 300 million cubic feet of gas per day to make methanol to ship to China for plastic and fuel use.

As you evaluate a way forward, we urge you to direct the Department of Ecology to oversee the process of having the City of Tacoma supplement the Environmental Impact Statement for the LNG facility, and to reject the Kalama methanol refinery lead agencies’ inaccurate and incomplete environmental analyses.

Washington State is already negatively impacted by climate change: record-breaking wildfires have devastated our communities and caused toxic pollution state-wide; our snow packs have plummeted, resulting in more water pollution, less drinking water and less hydroelectric capacity; our salmon and orca populations have become critically endangered; our agricultural, fisheries and shellfish industries have suffered million-dollar losses; and the Quinault Nation has been forced to relocate two villages because of rising sea levels. As October’s IPCC report made clear, if we do not take immediate action to radically reduce our emissions in line with the Paris target of 1.5°C,  these impacts will intensify – with children, the elderly, communities of color, low-income communities, tribes and coastal communities being impacted first and worst.

Now more than ever, Washington must hold the line against climate-wrecking fossil fuel infrastructure. Our region is flooded with proposals for new and expanded fracked gas infrastructure that will lock us into decades of climate pollution and undermine our healthy future. We can’t switch out one fossil fuel for another – especially one that is championed by an industry with a long history of violating treaties, devastating communities near extraction sites, and causing toxic air and water pollution at every stage of production.

Thank you for standing with Northwest Tribal nations, locally impacted communities, environmental advocates and health professionals opposing the Tacoma LNG facility and Kalama methanol refinery. We call on you to continue leading by ensuring that any fracked gas project proposed for Washington is held to the highest standards for environmental review and prioritizes the health and safety of our communities.

Sincerely,

Ken Lans, MD, Climate & Health Task Force Chair
Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility

Regna Merritt, Healthy Climate Program Director
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

Bonnie McKinlay, Organizer
Climate Action Coalition

Carol Kindt, Organizer
350 Tacoma

Stacy Oaks, Organizer
350 Seattle

Sam Krop, Grassroots Organizer
Cascadia Wildlands

Thomas Meyer, Regional Organizing Manager
Food and Water Watch

Mike Petersen, Executive Director
The Lands Council

Kevin Jones, Lead Organizer
Indivisible Vashon 

Andy James, Board Member
Vashon Climate Action Group 

Dakota Case, Co-Founder
Water Warrior Movement

Darren & Benita Moore, Founders
Native Daily Network

Paul Chiyokten Wagner, Co-Founder
Protectors of the Salish Sea

Matt Remle & Rachel Heaton, Founders
Mazaska Talks

Roxanne White, Founder
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives No Borders

Todd Hay, PhD, President
Advocates for a Cleaner Tacoma (ACT)

Val Peaphon, Grassroots Organizer
Redefine Tacoma

Megan Ybarra, Core Organizer
La Resistencia

Grace Stahre, Operations Director
Climate Action Families

Sophia Thompson & Adonis Piper, Co-Presidents
Plant for the Planet Washington

Kendall Kieras, Executive Director
Zero Hour

Harry Katz, Hub Co-Coordinator
Sunrise Movement Seattle

Lisa Grimm, Hub Co-Coordinator
Sunrise Movement Tacoma

Mason Rolfe, Hub Co-Coordinator
Sunrise Movement Olympia

Barb Church
The Conversation Tacoma

Annette Klapstein
Seattle Raging Grannies

Marilyn Kimmerling, Member
Tacoma Raging Grannies

Jennie Lindberg, Chairperson
350 Everett

Jeanine SanClemente, Regional Coordinator
Mothers Out Front Puget Sound

Jeanine SanClemente, Administrator
Snohomish County Climate Alliance

Marjorie Fields, Secretary
Sierra Club, Sno-isle Chapter

Twylia Westling, Founder
Civic Actions for the Salish Sea

Kimberly Busteed, SnoCO Chapter Chair
The Climate Reality Project, Snohomish Chapter

Arthur (R.D.) Grunbaum, President
Friends of Grays Harbor

Wendy Condrat, Team Leader for Climate Justice
Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church

Nancy Vandenberg
St. John’s Episcopal Creation Stewards

oPam Keeley, Vice President
Kitsap Environmental Coalition

Zen Honeycutt, Founder & Executive Director
Moms Across America

Jessica Lisovsky, Leadership Team Member
Vashon/Maury Showing up for Racial Justice

Dan Serres, Conservation Director
Columbia Riverkeeper

Rebecca MacMullan, Co-Chair
350 Spokane

LeeAnne Beres, Executive Director
Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light

Tammy Domike, Community Organizer
Citizens for a Clean Harbor

Alex Ramel, Extreme Oil Campaign Field Director
STAND.earth

Emily Martin, Northwest Field Coordinator
Our Climate

Anne Miller, Coordinator
South Seattle Climate Action Network

Kurtis Dengler, Organizer
Mosquito Fleet

Benjamin Smith, Field Organizing Manager
Greenpeace USA

Jeanne Poirier, Organizer
350 Wenatchee  

Ed Bowlby, Organizer
Olympic Climate Action Executive Committee

Allie Rosenbluth, Campaigns Director
Rogue Climate

Blanche Bybee, Organizer
350 Bellingham

Stephanie Hillman, Campaign Representative
Sierra Club

Holly Brewer, Organizer
Indivisible Bainbridge Island

Lisa Dekker, Representative
Indivisible Sequim

Sara Papanikolaou, Climate Organizer
350 Eastside

Marilyn Kimmerling, Delegate
Tacoma IWW

Marilyn Kimmerling, Associate Member
Tacoma Veterans For Peace

Gary Wallace, President
Lower Columbia Stewardship Council, Longview

Kriss Kevorkian, Founder
Legal Rights For The Salish Sea

Sarah Sasek, Co-Founder
Students for the Salish Sea

Susan Balbas, Executive Director
Na’ah Illahee Fund

Leahe Swayze, Steering Committee member
Showing Up for Racial Justice Methow Valley  

Anita J. Dietrich, Founder & Lead Organizer
SnoCo Indivisible

Julie Andrzejewski and Ellen Floyd, Co-Chairs
Indivisible Tacoma

Marcella Dykes, Communications Steering Committee
Indivisible Ocean Shores

Kathryn Wilham, Organizer
Resisterhood360

Chris Petzold, Founder
Indivisible Washington’s 8th District

Louise Pathe, Steering Committee Member
Indivisible Eastside

Shirin Elkoshairi, Leadership Team Member
Indivisible Greater Vancouver

Carollynn Zimmers DVM, Co-founder and Facilitator
North Kitsap Indivisible

Carolyn Barclift, Steering Committee
CD10Wa Indivisible Leaders

Dineen O’Rourke, Campaign and Action Organizer
350PDX

Jill Mangaliman, Executive Director
Got Green

Rosalie M. Romano, Steering Committee Member
Grey Resistance Indivisible

Ellen O’Shea, Member
Jefferson County Environmental Coalition

Carolyn Barclift, Steering Committee & Networks/Coalition Team Lead
Olympia Indivisible

Jill MacIntyre Witt, Mentor and Chapter Chair
Climate Reality Project, Bellingham Chapter

Jenny Marienau, Political Campaign Manager
350 Action

David Lambert, Chairperson
Tacoma Fellowship of Reconciliation

Rick Samyn, Pastoral Assistant for Social Justice
St. Leo Church

Lorie Lucky, Organizer
Saltwater Climate Action Now (SCAN)