A Letter To Danny Westneat

Mr. Westneat is a columnist and reporter for the Seattle Times focusing on local issues.

Hi Danny,

Read your Sunday column on Climate Change and Jay Inslee. Great stuff as always.

I recently met Jay Inslee at a Port Of Seattle convention on Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF)–a substitute for the aviation kerosene now used which burns a bit cleaner. The Port’s idea for combating climate change at Sea-Tac Airport is a goal to get 10% of the airplanes using SAF by 2027 and the Governor spoke at the convention to give his support.

I was granted the opportunity to ask him one question, which was this: “Why did you grant an exemption to both the Marine and Aviation industries on last year’s carbon tax legislation? Didn’t you realise that Sea-Tac Airport is now the single biggest commercial polluter in the entire state?

BACKGROUND: When the legislation was being worked on in committee, the Port Of Seattle made a statement that they could not support any legislation which did not grant an exemption to Marine and Aviation because of the damage it would do to the ‘economic engine of Puget Sound’–despite the fact that both the senate and rep. committees had not put any such language in their respective bills. Members from both the House and Senate committee spoke from the dais that they needed to add those exemptions because they had been told by the Governor that he would not sign the legislation otherwise. Later I was told by two Reps that the Port had met with the Governor the previous day.

I have complained on many occasions to your reporters and management that the Seattle Times does not provide -nearly- enough critical coverage of The Port Of Seattle or its partner in crime the PSRC. Your paper did not even cover this gaping loophole… or how it came to be. Bot the PoS and the PSRC represent a very Seattle and hypocritical mindset (that Mr. Inslee also seems to inhabit) which will -never- get us meaningful improvements on global warming. Everyone in power -talks- about climate change, but then when it comes to making changes that might impinge in the slightest on the money flow? Eh, not so much. And your paper should be covering that story.

Your paper should do more to watch what Mr. Inslee (and the PoS and PSRC) actually do; not their aspiration language. These are the important players in our regional efforts to combat climate change and we can’t hold them to account if no one knows what’s really going on.

Des Moines

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