Tacoma plant poses large risks for Salish Sea

Thanks to Maia Syfers for her article on Puget Sound Energy’s plan to process fracked liquid natural gas in Tacoma and to The Beachcomber for printing it (“Documentary, scientist address perils of fracking,” Aug. 29).

I’ve been opposed to the gas fracking process ever since I saw “before and after” pictures of a fracking site — acres of green woodland turned into a brown desert. Since then I’ve learned a great deal more about the three aspects of the fracked-gas process: first, the destruction of the land and water at the site of extraction; second, the hazards of shipping the gas long distances through surface pipelines and third, the pollution and danger at the destination processing site.

It’s the third aspect that most directly affects Vashon, the liquid natural gas plant that Puget Sound Energy is currently building on the tide flats of Tacoma — without permits and opposed by Gov. Inslee, the Puyallup tribe and almost all of the hundreds of citizens who attended last week’s hearing in Tacoma, including a delegation from Vashon. Of all the places to site a liquid natural gas processing plant, none could be worse than on a tide flat on an outlet to the already-damaged Salish Sea, where it would be shipped in vulnerable tankers to other locations for industrial uses (for which, incidentally, we PSE ratepayers will pay). Just one accident could eliminate our struggling whale population, salmon and other sea life.

As Ms. Syfers points out in her article, the film “Unfractured,” documenting the hazards of gas fracking and telling the story of one community’s successful opposition to a fracking site, will be at the Vashon Theater next Tuesday, Sept. 10. It’s hosted by the Vashon Climate Action Group. I’ll be there. I hope you will, too.

— Geoff Cole

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