Record No: Res 31576    Version: Council Bill No:
Type: Resolution (Res) Status: Adopted
Current Controlling Legislative Body City Clerk
On agenda: 5/11/2015
Ordinance No:
Title: A RESOLUTION related to the use of the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5 for Arctic drilling operations.
Sponsors: Mike O'Brien
Supporting documents: 1. Proposed Amendment, 2. Summary and Fiscal Note, 3. Signed Resolution 31576
RESOLUTION _________________
A RESOLUTION related to the use of the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5 for Arctic drilling operations.
WHEREAS, the 2013 Seattle Climate Action Plan identifies actions to achieve City climate goals while also advancing other City goals, including transportation choices, building energy efficiency, solid waste reduction, urban forest protection, sustainable economic development, and clean air; and
WHEREAS, The City of Seattle (City) and the Port of Seattle (Port) share a strong commitment to climate protection; and
WHEREAS, that commitment includes a strong emphasis on achieving emission reductions, which is consistent with the best available science and the essential international commitment to keeping global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius, in order to prevent catastrophic and irreversible impacts, including, locally, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and loss of snowpack; and
WHEREAS, burning enough oil to justify Arctic drilling would trigger dramatic sea level rise, subjecting large areas of Seattle to inundation and storm water damage, including the Port itself; and
WHEREAS, ocean acidification corresponding to this level of oil use would make the oceans uninhabitable for many of the iconic species of the Puget Sound; and
WHEREAS, the City and Port are both accountable to the people of Seattle, with a duty to represent their values and interests in open, public, and transparent decision-making processes; and
WHEREAS, fossil fuel corporations often cite jobs as justification for expansions; and
WHEREAS, every job is of vital importance to workers' living standards, and positions taken by the City should affirm that importance; and
WHEREAS, research from the Political Economy Research Institute shows that "clean-energy activities produce more jobs, dollar for dollar, than fossil fuel-related activities <>"; and
WHEREAS, Steelworkers at several oil refineries operated by Shell went on strike <> in 2015 against intolerable and unsafe working conditions; and
WHEREAS, a broad spectrum of business, labor, environmental, and civic interests have signed on to a "Shared Vision of Sustainable Prosperity," a vision that links economic prosperity, environmental integrity, and social justice; and
WHEREAS, the City and Port have developed economic strategies that fully embrace sustainability and climate solutions as assets that sustain and expand our prosperity; and
WHEREAS, the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy must be accomplished by phasing in clean energy and transportation solutions in a way that makes them affordable to all and reduces, rather than aggravates, social and economic inequities; and
WHEREAS, accomplishing this transition requires a sustained and serious commitment to initiatives that reduce emissions and grow the clean energy economy, and a firm commitment to avoid new, long-term investments and initiatives like Arctic drilling; and
WHEREAS, the City and Port have the ability and the moral obligation to promote a just transition to green energy infrastructure and away from an expansion of the oil industry, in a manner that protects and creates living wage, unionized jobs; and
WHEREAS, broad community support for the policies and investments needed to sustain and improve the Port as a working waterfront with a significant number of family-supporting jobs is vital to the future of the Port and Seattle's employment base, and that support would be undermined by use of the Port to stage Arctic drilling operations; and
WHEREAS, responding to the melting of the polar ice caps - driven by unsustainably high levels of fossil fuel consumption - as an opportunity to drill for more oil where the ice used to be represents an act of unconscionable climate irresponsibility; NOW, THEREFORE,
Section 1.  The City of Seattle (City) opposes federal permits or leases to authorize Arctic drilling, on the grounds that such drilling would violate global, national, and local commitments to limit carbon emissions to levels that prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.
Section 2. The City affirms its robust policy commitments to climate protection and sustainability, commitments which urgently compel the City to oppose Arctic drilling and the use of Seattle's harbor and waterfront for staging and supporting Arctic drilling operations.
Section 3. The City urges the Port of Seattle (Port) to reconsider its Terminal 5 lease, and avoid the disruption, division, and direct conflict with its stated values and policies that use of the Port for Arctic drilling operations will inevitably cause.
Section 4. The City urges the Port to begin a collaborative dialogue with the City, and other jurisdictions affected by the decision to use Terminal 5 as a homeport for Arctic drilling operations, about how to achieve an outcome for Terminal 5 that better serves our residents.
Section 5. The City urges the Port to work cooperatively and collaboratively with the City and the community to maintain a healthy working waterfront and maritime economy in ways that further the City's commitment to climate solutions.
      Adopted by the City Council the ____ day of ____________________, 2015, and signed by me in open session in authentication of its adoption this________ day
of ______________________, 2015.                                          
                                    President ___________of the City Council
The Mayor concurred the _____ day of _______________________, 2015.
                                                            Edward B. Murray, Mayor
      Filed by me this ____ day of ________________________, 2015.
                  Monica Martinez Simmons, City Clerk