Activists Build Small Longhouse Blocking PSE Headquarters
Above Photo: From Investorideas.com
April 2, 2018 (Investorideas.com Newswire) As Puget Sound Energy continues to build a Tacoma Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility despite widespread concerns, Native and environmentalist opponents of the project have constructed a small longhouse replica blocking the main entrance to PSE’s corporate headquarters in Bellevue early this morning.
PSE has not consulted with the Puyallup Tribe (the historical owners of the land), and lacks key permits, including one from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, which recently ordered that a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement be completed before they would consider the permit. Nevertheless, construction continues.
The activists say that they, too, have requested a permit for their structure; they are awaiting approval from the Bellevue Planning Department. “PSE hasn’t gotten its permits, and they’re continuing to build, so we figured we could do the same,” says Stacy Oaks of 350 Seattle.
Dakota Case of the Puyallup Water Warrior Movement points out that the question of rights to the land being built on is also open to interpretation in both cases. “This is how it feels when your consent is taken from you—we’re building without permission on PSE property, just as PSE is doing on our land. But ours is a peaceful symbolic gesture, not a bullying, dangerous, and profit-taking one. We gave the United States permission to be here in the treaties, and we retained rights that would preserve our way of life. We are demanding that PSE honor those treaties. We’re asking PSE to respect our salmon, we’re asking them to respect our mother Earth. This facility does not belong on our land and our water.”
The action also commemorates the 4th anniversary of the gas explosion at the LNG facility near the Columbia River in Plymouth, WA. That explosion forced hundreds to evacuate their homes, injured five workers, and caused $69 million in damages. Residents within a two-mile radius of the facility were evacuated. One reason for the widespread local opposition to the LNG facility is that it’s being built in the heart of Tacoma, when international regulatory bodies recommend siting LNG facilities at least 3 miles away from populations.
Over 53,000 people have signed a petition urging Governor Inslee and AG Ferguson to stop construction until all permits, treaty rights, and procedures have been upheld, and 14 tribes have also written Gov. Inslee to urge that he enforce the treaties.