As the Tacoma City Council moves toward a vote this week on proposed interim regulations in theTideflats, I am disheartened by its blatant giveaway to fossil fuel companies over the interests and health of constituents.
While the council has adopted for consideration a pause on new fossil fuel facilities, it voted to remove any limit or additional review for expansions of old facilities. This ignores the will of Tacomans and undermines the strength of the entire set of proposed regulations.
The environmental community understands the need to balance economic and environmental needs, and is willing to compromise. Requiring a conditional use permit (CUP) for fossil fuel expansions is an example of such compromise.
This would allow the city to review proposed expansions in light of how each proposal would affect public health, fire safety, equity, etc.
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While a pause on all expansions of fossil fuels would benefit the economy and environment alike, at the very least the council needs to require a CUP to give the city power over controversial proposals without restricting economic growth.