Chairman Warns the Fight Isn’t Over
The Puyallup Tribal Council on Wednesday praised Governor Jay Inslee’s stance against the proposed Liquefied Natural Gas project in Tacoma.
During a bill-signing Wednesday afternoon, Inslee withdrew support for the project, pointing to the accelerating threat of climate change and emerging science on the damaging impacts of natural gas production and distribution.
“I cannot in good conscience support continued construction of a liquefied natural gas plant in Tacoma or a methanol production facility in Kalama,” Inslee said. “I am no longer convinced that locking in these multidecadal infrastructure projects are sufficient to accomplishing what’s necessary.”
Puyallup Tribal Council Chairman Bill Sterud applauded the governor’s position.
“We welcome the governor’s strong and clear statement about the dire impacts of fossil fuels,” Sterud said. “Today he showed strong leadership on climate change.”
The liquefied natural gas plant, under construction on Tacoma’s Tideflats, would hold as much as 8 million gallons of LNG on the Tribe’s historical homeland. The Tribe has fought the project for years, voicing concerns over environmental impacts, what it sees as flawed reviews and a lack of proper consultation with the Tribe.
“It’s been a long battle,” Sterud said. Sterud and Councilmember Annette Bryan, who also has been fighting the project, thanked the allies who have stood with the Tribe. As of Wednesday, more than 40 Northwest Tribes, the Tribe’s Water Warriors, environment, faith, civil rights, immigration and social justice leaders have spoken against the project.
Inslee said that despite his own opposition, the state’s current regulatory process will be followed. Sterud said the Tribe and its allies need to continue to show their resolve.
“We have to be vigilant,” Sterud said. “We need the support the governor is offering and then some. The fight is not over.”
The next steps include air permitting. The Tribe also has been pressing the city or state to conduct a supplemental environmental impact statement to evaluate changes to the project and safety concerns.
“We now look to the City of Tacoma and the Department of Ecology,” Bryan said. “My hope is that both the city and the state will be on the right side of history.”
About the Puyallup Tribe of Indians
The Puyallup People have lived along the shores of what is now called Puget Sound for thousands of years. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians is a sovereign nation of more than 5,000 members and one of the largest employers in Pierce County. It serves its people and neighbors with generosity and is committed to building a sustainable way of life for future generations. Learn more about the Puyallup Tribe.
Michael Thompson, Communications Director, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, (253) 382-6200; Michael.Thompson@puyalluptribe-nsn.gov
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