Push Seattle to cut climate pollution from large buildings

What's At Stake

Seattle has long been known as an international leader on climate action and has some of the strongest emissions reductions goals in the nation. Yet if we are to meet those goals, we must transition our city off of fossil fuels entirely in the coming years. The city is currently considering two key pieces of legislation to tackle climate pollution associated with its large buildings. Add your voice to our efforts to tell Mayor Harrell and Seattle City Council they must act to ensure we can meet our climate goals and transition our buildings off of polluting fossil fuels!

The City of Seattle is currently developing a policy to transition large commercial and multi-family buildings off of fossil fuels to fight the climate crisis and protect public health and safety. The policy, which is called a building emissions performance standard, will set timelines for different types of buildings to transition off of polluting fossil fuels over the coming years.

Simultaneously, City leaders are working with Unite Here Local 8 and other labor organizations to develop the Living Hotels policy, which would set strong environmental and social justice standards for new hotel construction in Seattle.

These new policies are just one front in our fight to eliminate fossil fuels. You might remember that, thanks in part to Earthjustice supporters speaking up, the State Building Code Council is working on updated building codes that will electrify new buildings in the State. However, the gas utility industry filed a lawsuit to block the codes. Earthjustice intervened to defend the codes — and will continue to fight for them in court for as long as it takes — but it’s critical that we keep our momentum to phase out polluting gas from our buildings.

We need your help. Please show your support for these crucial policies so we can ensure that they are as strong as possible.

The Seattle skyline from across Elliott Bay.
Downtown Seattle skyline. (Candice Cusack / Getty Images)

Delivery to Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Council, and Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment Direct Jessyn Farrell

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Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

You level the playing field.

Elected officials pay attention when they see that we are paying attention. Read more.

They may be hearing from industry lobbyists left and right, but hearing the stories of their constituents — that’s your power.

Our legislators serve at the pleasure of the people who gave them their job — you.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. When you contact your elected official, you’re putting a face and a name on an issue.

Whether or not you voted for them, they work for you, for the duration of their term.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. (Find your local, state, and federal elected officials.)

Your action is with us in court.

If a federal agency finalizes a harmful action, the record of public comments provides a basis for bringing them into court. Read more.

Throughout each of the public comment periods we alert you to, Earthjustice’s attorneys are researching and writing in-depth, technical comments to submit — detailing how the regulation could and should be stronger to protect the environment, our communities, and our planet.

We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

Lawsuits we file that challenge weak or harmful federal regulations rely on what was submitted during the comment period. The court can only look at documents that are in the Administrative Record — including the public comments — to decide if the agency did something improper.

Your actions aid our litigation. Taking action and submitting comments during a comment period is substantively important.

It’s the law.

Federal agencies must pause what they’re doing and ask for — and consider — your comment. Read more.

Many of us may have never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but laws like these require our government to ask the public to weigh in before agencies adopt or change regulations.

Regulations essentially describe how federal agencies will carry out laws — including decisions that could undermine science, or weaken safeguards on public health.

Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.