In 2017, we took on some big challenges and made some serious progress. Read and watch a few highlights in the news!
Environmental groups say President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would severely hurt Puget Sound clean-up efforts, and they rallied Wednesday to pressure state lawmakers to fund millions of dollars lost in EPA grant cuts.
“Kind of taking a hatchet to these basic environmental protections that are so popular with the public seems crazy,” said Washington Environmental Council President Becky Kelley.
Environmental groups are asking state lawmakers to fund the difference.
“Folks, we can’t lose this one. We’ve come too far,” said Seattle City Councilman Mike O’Brien. “What’s at risk right now is huge. But together we can stop this and turn this around and head back in the right direction.”
The good news is that fundamentally Washington state has chosen to move ahead on clean energy. The actions of DC aren’t going to slow us down. The will of people across the political spectrum is to move to clean energy. People know it’s better for our health, and it will be better for our economy.”
“Nobody voted for dirty air,” says Becky Kelley, “I think the president is really out of of step with the rest of the country.” Kelley says no matter what happens in the District of Columbia, the fight for the environment is always a local one. “At the end of the day here at the state and local level, we’re going to do a better job. We’re going to protect our home.”
“There is definitely an increased sense of urgency, and we’ll get more aggressive,” said Rebecca Ponzio, fossil fuel campaign director at Stand Up to Oil, a coalition of groups opposed to new oil terminals and any increase in oil transport through the northwest.
At least 20 projects have been proposed in Oregon and Washington that would have handled or moved coal, crude oil, methanol, propane, or LNG. By targeting the projects at the local level, organizers showed their communities’ opposition to the new fossil fuel infrastructure and convinced city authorities to deny the necessary permits.
The Tacoma City Council could press pause on welcoming new heavy industrial development in the Tacoma Tideflats. The move would allow city leaders to think about what that area could look like in the future.
People like Mindy Roberts with the Washington Environmental Council hopes the interim regulations will give Tacoma more time to the think about what type of industry should be in the Tideflats.
“We didn’t realize that our business practices would have these unintended consequences in terms of pollution,” she said. “What we’re worried about is if we lock ourselves into fossil fuels we lock ourselves into decades to come. Now is the time to think about really intentionally transitioning into a clean energy economy.”