TACOMA LNG RESISTANCE
We’re not going to sugarcoat it, November was a rough month for communities in Tacoma and allies along the Salish Sea working to protect their health, safety, and children’s futures from local fossil fuel expansion.
The state Pollution Control Hearings Board ruled to uphold the controversial final project permit for Puget Sound Energy’s Liquefied Natural Gas facility despite the fact that it used methane data over a decade old, scenarios the Attorney General called “fictional”, and incomplete climate and safety analyses. Reactions by the Puyallup Tribe, Earthjustice, and community members can be found in this Power Past Fracked Gas Coalition press release. The Tribe and Earthjustice have until December 17th to file an appeal to a higher court.
The same week as the LNG court verdict, the Tacoma City Council finalized fossil fuel expansion regulations for the tideflats (aka Port of Tacoma). After four years of public pressure, the Puyallup Tribe’s clearly expressed desire for no additional toxic operations, the city’s own planning commission recommending zero fossil fuel expansion, and youth getting Tacoma to pass a climate emergency declaration in 2019, we expected more: stronger recommendations, something to be proud of, a tangible first step in cleaning up the air for local residents and responding to a root cause of the climate emergency.
Instead, the council voted to allow Puget Sound Energy’s LNG facility to apply to double its capacity, and for other polluters to expand by 15% in the name of cleaner fuels, with a questionable definition of what qualifies as “clean”.
Although these regulations aren’t what we hoped for, we recognize that prior to this process, there were zero regulations in place regarding the expansion of these fossil fuel facilities. However, incremental change will not address the climate crisis at the level needed and allowing any additional fossil fuel expansion means more health impacts for nearby communities that are already disproportionately impacted.
Thank You to everyone who has sent emails, attended council meetings, given public comments, called council members or participated in demonstrations over the five long years since these regulations and the LNG facility resistance began in 2017. The road to change can be long, full of speed bumps, elected officials focused on short term profits instead of the communities they are supposed to represent, industry propaganda, and the ever-present influence of systemic racism. We will continue to stand with the Puyallup Tribe, communities closest to these polluting facilities, and youth demanding a livable planet.
Join us next Thursday for an opportunity to ask questions, share reactions, and learn about what comes next.
LNG Resistance Team Meeting
Thursday, December 9, 12:00–1:00pm
Online, register here.
We will also have a guest speaker to tell us more about East King County’s campaign to break away from PSE’s dirty and overpriced electric service in favor of publicly owned power. More on that below.
SOLIDARITY BUDGET WINS
In happier news, thanks to the Solidarity Budget, including great representation from our Green New Deal team, we held the line: Seattle is the only major US city to defund police for a second year in a row, pushing back and winning against a national backlash fueled by white supremacy and political elites whose power depends on keeping us divided.
As we continued divesting from harmful policing, we also had some big wins:
- $192M for affordable housing and an additional $1M for Tiny House Village expansion and upgrades.
- $17.5M for community-led alternatives to policing, including restorative justice in schools; more staffing for civilianized 911 response; expanded mobile mental health services and gun violence prevention.
- $16M for Seattle’s Green New Deal, including $14M JumpStart Green New Deal investments and an additional $2M in community climate resilience and Indigenous-led sustainability projects (check out more details here).
- $4.2M in safe streets for walking, biking & rolling, including new sidewalks in city council districts D2 and D7; and expansion of the Vision Zero and Home Zone programs.
- A first step towards new progressive revenue, with a City Council commitment to study and propose new revenue options by July 2022.
That’s not all! Check out the Solidarity Budget coalition press release for a full recap.
LOOKING BACK AT GLASGOW
The Glasgow Climate Talks concluded last month. Although there were some small steps forward, the talks accomplished nowhere near enough. Even if every pledge made in Glasgow is kept―which is a big if―the world will still be on track for truly catastrophic levels of warming.
Here are some of the highlights of what was (and was not) achieved in Glasgow:
- The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) boasted that $130 trillion of assets were now represented among their 450+ member corporations. Yet, the big commitment was severely undermined by its failure to even mention the F-words: fossil fuels.
- 39 countries and counting agreed to stop funding fossil fuel projects abroad. Yet those countries account for only around 25% of all public financing of fossil fuels, so others will need to follow soon.
- Morgan Stanley became the second major US bank to publish its 2030 climate targets―but they failed to rule out funding for new fossil fuel expansion.
- More than 100 countries, including the US, Brazil, Indonesia and China, committed to ending and reversing deforestation by 2030. But the commitment could be undermined, as some countries are already walking back their promises―and the US banks funding deforestation failed to make a similar commitment.
- Some of the largest UK banks committed to phasing out coal financing, but continue to finance other fossil fuels; meanwhile, the UK Treasury said it will require financial firms to publish net zero transition plans in alignment with the goals of Paris.
- The US had a hand in watering down the final big international commitment at COP26 to phase out coal.
- The world’s nations agreed to come back to the negotiating table and up their climate targets again next year―bringing forward the next date to do so by three years.
Although some of these steps forward are notable, the failings of COP26 are clear to anyone paying attention. Major financial institutions that have supposedly committed to net zero are still spending billions funding new fossil fuel projects. The failure of the US, China, India, and Australia to sign on to the deal to phase out coal is a major setback. And when it comes to cutting methane emissions and stopping the public financing of fossil fuel projects, far too few of the major polluters signed on. Meanwhile, some nations are already walking back their pledges to end deforestation.
In the years ahead, more than ever, our work is cut out for us.
STOP THE MONEY PIPELINE
After a year of intense campaigning, the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition is moving into a period of reflection and planning for the year ahead, but there are still three actions that you can take today:
- Do you bank with (or have a credit card or a mortgage with) Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo or Bank of America? Then join over 8,000 customers in demanding that your bank stops funding fossil fuels.
- Tell Morgan Stanley that their 2030 climate targets aren’t good enough and they no need to pass a new fossil fuel expansion policy today.
- Tell Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America that their 2030 climate targets must include an immediate end to supporting all new fossil fuel projects.
And, as ever, to keep up to date with all the latest with Stop the Money Pipeline, join the email list here.
JUST TRANSITION IN TRANSPORTATION
It’s time to create a Just Transition away from fossil fuels and transform transportation in Washington from a dirty engine of inequality to a catalyst for clean jobs and opportunity!
Learn more about what transportation means to our communities, our environment, and for the 25% of people in Washington who can’t or don’t drive a private vehicle, as Front & Centered’s transportation and land-use lead, Paulo Nunes-Ueno, will give an overview, take your questions, and share opportunities to get involved in advocacy efforts.
Join us for an overview of the 2022 legislative session with coalition partner Front & Centered. Policy and Government Relations Lead, Guillermo Rogel, Jr. will highlight priorities for energy justice, transportation justice, and land-use legislation.
Advocating for a Just Transition in the 2022 Legislative Session
Thursday, December 16, 12:00pm.
Online, register here.
If y’all missed last month’s screening of Ramps to Nowhere, you can catch this film about the Seattle Freeway Revolt on Vimeo; the Ramps to Nowhere panel discussion is available on YouTube. Spread the word about the harms of highways by hosting a Ramps to Nowhere viewing party with friends or a local community organization (your faith group, parent association, or even your bike shop or climbing gym!). Sign up here to learn more; we will support you and make it easy to host, we promise!
EAST KING COUNTY ELECTRIC PUBLIC UTILITY CAMPAIGN
Have you heard? Folks in East King County are hoping to create a public utility district (PUD) to replace PSE as an electricity provider with a 2022 ballot initiative. We know PSE is Washington’s most expensive provider, has over 60% of their electricity generated by fossil fuels, spends millions on lobbying and campaign contributions to hold back the transition to renewable energy, and helps finance tobacco industry style PR campaigns that include targeting children and paying Instagram influencers to gush over cooking with gas despite knowing the health risks.
How can you help? Check out EKC-PUD.org for ways to support the campaign including volunteering to help with social media content creation and amplification, collecting signatures, donating funds and more! To learn more, this 10-minute video gives a more detailed overview of the campaign.
CRUISE-FREE SALISH SEA
With the pandemic-induced break from cruise ships in 2020, some destination communities had the opportunity to reflect on the ways massive cruise ships are negatively impacting the environment and their quality of life. Key West, Florida residents overwhelmingly voted last November to limit the number of passengers disembarking per day, the size of the ships that visit, and wanted to prioritize ships with better health and environmental records. In response, after stalled state legislation, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a transportation bill overruling the will of the people, with a provision that does not allow local referendums to impact commerce in Florida ports. The cruise industry’s money and power make them a formidable opponent to the communities they visit and harm.
As we continue to advocate for a healthier Salish Sea and a livable planet here in Seattle, the actions in Florida demonstrate that it will be an uphill battle, where cruise lines and the elected officials in their pockets will disregard the wishes and health of the cities they visit.
And here’s an open call for protest art!
MSC Cruises is using this invitation for artists to greenwash their use of LNG (liquified fracked gas): “In your design proposal, you’re asked to take inspiration from the marine ecosystem this ship helps to preserve.” Yeah, right. Global Cruise Activist Network members are encouraging submissions showing ecological devastation. Who knows, it might just wake up a few humans who are accepting the art submissions. Deadline is December 20.
Join us to learn about and celebrate 2021’s many successful endeavors towards solutions to maritime-related climate, health, and labor concerns.
From Land to Sea: Building Sustainable Maritime Futures Webinar
Thursday, December 16, 6:00–7:30pm
Online, register here.
Expect to learn about threats to our communities, climate, and workers. We’ll cover campaign updates, celebrate successes, learn about opportunities to plug-in and ask questions during a panel Q&A. Learn how we are working locally to meet the needs of the moment and bring about a sustainable, equitable future for maritime industries and trade.
Looking back at 2021, we remember these maritime issues that captured the public attention:
- Seafarers trapped on ships for months beyond their contracts due to pandemic restrictions.
- One large ship getting stuck shook global trade to its core.
- Local port communities choked with air pollution from idling ships backed up due to supply chain problems.
- Activists, industry reps and elected leaders alike raised alarms at the International Maritime Organization and climate conferences regarding the unregulated climate emissions from global shipping.
This webinar is co-hosted by the Pacific Coast Coalition of Seafarers, 350 Seattle, Seattle Cruise Control, ShipItZero Campaign, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Climate Action Families. Please share the event page to help us spread the word!
SUPPORTING SEAFARING WORKERS
350 Seattle has partnered with the Pacific Coast Coalition of Seafarers on a Winter Supply Drive, to give back to some of our often invisible frontline workers—seafarer crews on cargo ships. Workers have been stranded at sea for months due to the closure of transit ports and governments’ slow response in taking responsibility for their safe return home. Many had their contracts illegally extended past the maximum 12 months a seafarer can be expected to serve on board, in addition to having their wages docked.
On top of the low pay and dangerous and exploitative conditions seafarers face, being stranded at sea with minimal contact with their families back home can have severe mental and emotional impacts. Check out this recording of a recent presentation by Jessica Rojas with the Pacific Coast Coalition of Seafarers and International Migrants Alliance to learn more. Email email@example.com to set up a presentation for your organization or learn about ways to engage in ongoing support.
One way to support these workers is by donating to the Seafarers Supply Drive to provide comfort and basic necessities like toothpaste, soap, warm coats and gloves for seafarers visiting Seattle during 2022. Just $10 will adopt a seafarer to receive a care package—please donate here! In the Seattle area, physical donations can be taken to several different drop off sites, just fill out this form to get location details.
ShipItZero just dropped a groundbreaking new report exposing the massive pollution impacts on U.S. port and coastal communities from Walmart, Target, Amazon, and IKEA’s ocean shipping, titled Shady Routes: How Big Retail and their Carriers Pollute along Key Ocean Shipping Corridors.
West Coast ports are facing a port pollution and congestion crisis. A record-breaking 100+ fossil-fueled cargo container ships are idling off the shores of the San Pedro Bay Ports, bringing higher levels of asthma and cancer-associated air pollutants including particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides into the port-adjacent communities. The Shady Routes report found that by focusing much of their fossil-fueled shipping through west coast ports, Target and Amazon are directly responsible for harming these communities.
We’ve already seen a 40% increase in imports to Seattle/Tacoma ports comparing 2020 to 2018. With the Port of Seattle planning to begin operations at their newly renovated cargo shipping terminal beginning in Q1 of 2022, our communities here are likely to face a substantial increase in hazardous air pollution from dirty cargo ships.
Right now, shippers are raking in the highest profits ever. Carriers Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM all reported over $3 billion USD in profits in the first half of 2021, an estimated 2500 percent increase over the first half of 2020. The record profits of these big retailers and carriers should be invested into zero-emissions vessels, but that won’t happen without pressure from communities like ours who face the brunt of their climate and air pollution.
To get involved with the ShipItZero crew, email Eric or text at 206-457-3340. We’ll host “Don’t Be Grinch, Deliver 100% Zero Emissions Shipping” photo petitions this month.
SKILL UP FOR POLICY ADVOCACY
Learn how to advocate, how legislative bodies work, and how to influence electeds—with examples from local 350 affiliates to demonstrate common tactics and best practices. Led by trainers from 350 Bay Area.
Skill Up for Climate Action: Policy Advocacy
Saturday, December 18, 11:00am–1:00pm Pacific
Online, register here.
Whether you are a new volunteer looking to jumpstart your activism skills, or a more experienced group member looking to stimulate thinking about new concepts and create stronger connections with peers across the movement, this training is for you!
Recordings and slides from past trainings in the series are available here.
FEDERAL POLICY TEAM
As the federal policy team reassesses where—among the myriad federal climate issues—to focus our efforts, here are four actions to move the needle:
- Help move the Build Back Better Act through the Senate by joining this Sunrise phone bank on December 3rd and/or 10th at 3:00 p.m. Pacific, and by using 350 Silicon Valley’s tool to contact Joe Manchin and our own Senators.
- Tell President Biden to use federal procurement powers to fight climate change. By sending federal purchasing dollars to greener buildings and materials, lower- and zero-emission vehicles, and other more sustainable purchases, President Biden and his administration can provide a needed boost in the transition to a clean energy economy and incentivize the private sector to move in a more sustainable direction. Submit your comment here using the suggested language or your own.
- Stop the recent Gulf lease sale! The Biden Administration’s Department of Interior recently authorized the largest sale of public waters for offshore drilling in U.S. history. But there is still time to stop the sale! Call Interior Secretary Deb Haaland using guidance from the Build Back Fossil Free Coalition’s helpful toolkit.
- Oppose the nomination of Jerome Powell to the Federal Reserve. President Biden’s recent choice of Jerome Powell is a disappointment given his statement last June that climate is not a focus in federal reserve decisions. Yet, if there is enough Senate opposition, we may have a chance to put in place a Fed chair who will prioritize climate. Contact your Senators here.
And reach out to Selden if you’d like to join our team!
THE CAT GOES TO OLYMPIA
Are you ready to advocate for sound and just climate policy here in Washington State? The 350 WA Civic Action Team is here to support you! With the legislative session kicking off on January 10th, there’s no better time to get good climate policy passed into law.
The 350 WA CAT campaign is entering its 5th year with a mission to educate and empower ordinary people across Washington to engage in advocacy during the legislative session. Last year the CAT mobilized well over 18,000 advocacy actions and this year they can accomplish even more when you add your voice! Sign up here to join the CAT’s statewide action list.
So, if you’re itching to learn more about the CAT legislative campaign and how to get involved, sign up for this special presentation at January’s General Meeting:
350 Seattle General Meeting with the Civic Action Team
Wednesday, January 5, 7:00pm
Online, register here.
Come learn all about how you can take legislative action with the 350 WA Civic Action Team in the 2022 session!
CLIMATE IN THE GMA
This week is the WA Can’t Wait Campaign’s Week of Action to advocate for updates to our state’s Growth Management Act that will address the climate crisis, protect forests and farms from harmful sprawl, and ensure we are funding local jurisdictions and community organizations to implement policies that will address the housing crisis.
Help advocate for a Growth Management Act that addresses some of the biggest challenges facing our state. Take one minute to email your legislators to ask them to support the WA Can’t Wait Platform this legislative session. Click here to send your emails.
ENERGY CODES – STATE
Remember how together we helped pass major building Seattle Energy Code Updates back in February 2021? That effectively began Seattle’s transition from fossil gas to clean electrification for heating and cooling in new commercial buildings.
Since then, we’ve been telling you about the momentum for other local jurisdictions to do the same—and now there’s a big opportunity for the Statewide Building Code Council to pass these same strong energy code updates for all of Washington state in 2022!
This will require community advocacy from around the state to make this happen, but let’s get started by signing this letter of support! And keep your eye out for opportunities to give public comment and testimony in the new year.
ENERGY CODES – SEATTLE
But wait, there’s more! The Seattle City Council is considering an amendment to their commercial energy code that prohibits fossil fuel for water heating. It would require efficient electric heating, like heat pumps, for all new commercial buildings, not just hotels and large multi-family dwellings. With 75% of carbon emissions from buildings coming from gas heating, this is a concrete step forward in fighting climate change.
Testify or write to the council members in support of this important amendment to the Seattle Energy Code. It needs to pass the committee first, and when it does, it will go on to the full council.
Council Land Use Committee
Wednesday, December 8, 9:30am, sign-in opens at 7:30am
Sign in here.
Full Council Meeting
Monday, December 13, 2:00pm, sign-in opens at 12:00pm
Sign in here.
BE A GAS GRINCH!
The “natural” gas industry spends millions to deceive and convince the public that their gas is clean, safe, and a bridge fuel to a renewable future—we know that’s not true and that it also harms communities, but the industry PR campaigns are effective at fooling the public.
The Story Circle community is making a zine to be published in Spring 2022!
We would love to have contributions—stories, essays, art, comics, poems, and songs—from YOU! The zine will be organized into elemental sections: earth, air, wind, and fire. Please join us for an informal session of Story Circle to discuss the zine project!
Story Circle – Elemental Zine
Friday, December 10, 6:00pm
Online, register here.
CLIMATE GRIEF AND EMPOWERMENT
What was the moment you first heard about the climate crisis—when you knew you had to do something? Did you realize how small you are in relation to the size of the problem? Was it imagining the future for your children or for people on the frontlines of climate-driven drought and weather catastrophes?
Without a doubt, the climate crisis cannot be faced alone. The emotional weight of it would crush anyone. Please join us in community for Climate Grief and Empowerment.
Climate Grief and Empowerment
Saturday, December 11, 10:00–11:45am
Online, register here.
We will move through four interactive stages during our time together: Gratitude, Honoring Our Pain for the World, Seeing with New and Ancient Eyes, and Going Forth.
Art makes our movement inviting and gives people of all ages and backgrounds a way to participate in important issues. Artful Activism makes our gorgeous banners, powerful and fun props, engaging music, theater, graphics, and more! No skills required. Please join us!
Building Art Together
Join us for social creative time—bring family and friends! No skills needed, just smiling eyes and clothes for mess, your own mask, water, and snack if you want one.
In Person Art Build
Sunday, Dec 19, Noon–4:00pm (part time or drop-ins welcome).
Gasworks Park under the huge shelter, 2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle 98103
RSVP to Lisa please.
We’ll be painting and coloring in outlines to create a giant banner for the upcoming January 3rd House Our Neighbors rally, as well as for Green New Deal. It would be great to see you, outside, for beautiful, powerful art and good conversation in a beautiful setting.
Covid Safety: Wearing masks is the default. Please, if you have even mild symptoms or exposures, just sit this one out. If you have needs or concerns, please let Lisa know in your reply.
To find us, pass the bathrooms and the building with the red machinery in front of it. If you don’t see us right away on the west side, then walk through the Play Barn building to the southeast end—we’ll be there!
We’re also still doing skilled art relays from home if that works better for you, and you already have some art or sewing skills you want to put to use. If you are more available and want to be on a short list of people who get contacted last minute for smaller art builds, please contact Lisa.
Deployment of our powerful and beautiful art!
If you are interested in other deployment opportunities and trainings to be able to guide last minute volunteers at events, we need YOU! Please contact Eric.
Join the Artful Workgroup
Not skilled? No worries, join us! We’ll teach you how! We all love to see the work we have our hand in making, make a difference in the world! No skills tasks like tracing, cutting, twisting ties, painting in between the lines, etc. are always needing people. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you want to try a little something more in a supportive, learning, fun, and connecting atmosphere with other people who care enough to show up like you are. Sign up here.
And finally, we’re looking for people versed in any area of art including performance arts, visual arts like graphics, painting, drawing, screen printing, building props, etc. and people with creative strategic humor and energy who like to brainstorm! Is that you? Please contact Lisa.
If you took photos at a recent 350 Seattle event, art build, or action and are willing to share what you captured with our community, we invite you to submit your best images to our photo library, where they’ll be saved for future use in our organization’s storytelling, including our outreach, communications, and fundraising efforts. Thank you for helping us tell (and show) our story!
Our latest video, 350 Seattle Retrospective 2021 shows the impact of art. And check out the 350 Seattle YouTube page if you haven’t already for awesome and growing content including, fresh from Intertwined, a powerful song from Femi and Ahlay, and kind and inspiring words from our good friends Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben.
We’re thrilled to announce that Nicole Grant is our new Executive Director! The strategic grounding and practical knowledge she’s gained in 20 years in the labor movement will be a tremendous asset to everything we do, but especially to our Green New Deal work. In her time at MLKCLC, she led a transition that helped to make the organization far more focused on racial, gender, and climate justice, while also invigorating its commitments to the need for working people to have a “great life in greater Seattle”.
“The chance to make Seattle the greenest Green New Deal city in the nation while creating thousands of union jobs in electrification and other climate conscious infrastructure is irresistible,” she says. “My hope is that unions and organizations focused on climate and racial justice will continue to work together as often as possible to make our world a better place for everyone, and to secure the environmental justice our communities need to thrive into the future.”
Want more general information about 350 Seattle? Then check out this handy new volunteer welcome guide.
Here are some really great ways to start on that path of engagement! Check out our updated Volunteer Opportunities List. Opportunities range from low commitment to high, introductory to skilled. All you have to do is find something you’re excited about and reach out! Unless otherwise noted, all opportunities can be done from home.
Unsure what you want to do? Still have questions about who we are and what we do? Schedule a time to chat with Shemona either by phone or video chat.
No time? Well, never fear—you can support the work we do at 350 Seattle by becoming a monthly donor! Sign up here!
We’re nearly 2/3 of the way to our goal of raising $90K by year end! We can’t do all this work without you. Please donate today!
Finally….hold tight through these darkest weeks, friends—we’ll catch you next year as we emerge into the returning light.