Tacoma was known for many years as a toxic dump. The methanol plant is an industry that would undo a lot of the progress to clean up the air and water.
Tacoma Public Utilities already has stated it would have to buy power on the open market. That is a real change of direction. TPU traditionally has sold surplus power to keep rates low.
What will happen to the rates when there is no longer power to sell? Who pays for the infrastructure to bring the power to the methanol plant?
How long would the South Tacoma aquifer be able to supply water if it is constantly tapped for the plant? What about the impact on the purity of the water in the Puget Sound? The obligation to restore fish runs?
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It appears Tacoma is being asked to give up its soul for 200 jobs. The end product of this plant is to create jobs in China. Tacoma does not need to be in the forefront of helping to keep jobs in China.
Attracting old industries is definitely the way to once again become a “second-class city,” the armpit of the Pacific Northwest.