Indigenous leaders and kayaktivists protest in front of the home of Puget Sound Energy CEO

Multiple groups gathered in opposition to the Tacoma LNG facility.

On April 29th, Puyallup Water Warriors, Protectors of the Salish Sea, and over forty kayaktivists held a protest on South Lake Union, urging Puget Sound Energy’s CEO Mary Kipp to halt the rush to operationalize the controversial Tacoma LNG facility.

The prayer-vigil included globe and salmon lanterns, native flute music, and prayers that Mary Kipp will help PSE off the path of “environmental racism,” which the group believes is pervasive so far in the Tacoma Liquefied Natural Gas facility permitting process.

When the flute music began, neighbors came out of their homes to experience the peaceful atmosphere as kayaktivists circled the canoe, lighted salmon dancing in the air.

After a prayer, gifts were placed on Kipp’s dock along with a letter “We recognize that the illegal construction took place before your time with PSE, but today you sit in a place of power, able to correct some of the injustice. PSE can and should amend their request to the Utilities and Transportation Commission to turn on the facility, and allow time for the Tribe to receive a ruling in the legal challenge.”

The Puyallup Tribe and environmental advocacy groups including the Sierra Club, the Washington Environmental Council, joined in an amicus brief by Attorney General Bob Ferguson, citing climate, health, and safety concerns in their appeal against the facility.

The Puyallup Tribe has been steadfast in its opposition to the facility and was not meaningfully consulted by any of the permitting agencies.

“Puget Sound Energy‘s LNG facility located on Puyallup’s estuary is unequivocally environmental racism,” said Paul Chiyokten Wagner, of the Coast Saanich Nation and founder of Protectors of the Salish Sea. “If put into operation it would deliver cultural genocide by exasperating the effects of climate disaster and pollution on Puyallup’s estuary where wild Salmon are already struggling to survive.”

Legal arguments that may invalidate the Tacoma LNG facility’s permit from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency just wrapped up earlier this week, with a decision expected sometime over the next three months.

Protestors hold sign after dark (photo credit: Neal Anderson)

Protestors hold sign after dark (photo credit: Neal Anderson)