Kalama Methanol Refinery
Act Now – Tell Washington Governor Jay Inslee to oppose the Kalama methanol refinery: Building the world’s largest natural gas-to-methanol refinery is the wrong direction for our safety, river, climate and private property rights!
By any measure, the methanol refinery slated for construction on the banks of the Columbia River at the Port of Kalama is a giant. Get the basic facts about the project by reading the independent Sightline Institute report: “Kalama’s Methanol Refinery, By the Numbers.” Northwest Innovation Works, a corporation controlled by of the Chinese government, seeks to build methanol refineries in the Northwest to take advantage of our cheap natural gas, electricity, and water. The methanol would be shipped to China to make plastics. For more detailed information about the proposal, check out Columbia Riverkeeper’s white paper: “Methanol Refining and Export on the Columbia: What You Need to Know.”
Here’s the video explaining methanol refining and export in 4 minutes for context, with a petition at the end:
Northwest Innovation Works proposed a similar methanol refinery in Tacoma. Public outcry over dangerous pollution from methanol refining drove the corporation out of town. Kalama is the new target.
Beyond Kalama: methanol refineries mean more fracked natural gas and more pipelines.
Riverkeeper is collaborating with local residents to oppose the world’s largest fracked gas-to-methanol refinery in Kalama. But Riverkeeper is also exposing how these massive methanol refinery proposals would profoundly increase our region’s consumption of fracked gas and drive the construction of massive new gas pipelines into the Pacific Northwest.
Why is fracked gas such a big deal? It is primarily comprised of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Methane leaks from fracking gas wells and gas pipelines are so severe that scientists have concluded that fracked gas can be as bad for our climate as coal.
The Kalama methanol refinery would use a stunning volume of natural gas; 320 million cubic feet per day, more than all other Washington industry combined. Thus far, the methanol company has not explained how the existing natural gas pipeline system could supply the methanol refinery. But newly released documents from NW Natural explain that the gas company could lease pipeline capacity to the Kalama methanol refinery to “bridge the gap in time between the commencement of methanol plant operation and the in-service date for an upstream infrastructure expansion, say three years.” In other words, a major new natural gas pipeline into the Northwest would be built in the next three years to supply the methanol refinery.
- Kalama’s Methanol Refinery, by the numbers: counting water use, air pollution, gas demands and other impacts. Sightline Institute
- Methanol Refining and Export on the Columbia: What You Need to Know, Columbia Riverkeeper
- Columbia Riverkeeper Comments on the Air Pollution Permit for the Kalama Methanol Refinery
- Columbia Riverkeeper’s Comments on the Shoreline Permit for the Kalama Methanol Refinery
- Washington State Bets Retirement Funds on Methanol Refinery, Sightline Institute
- Groups Challenge Environmental Review of Kalama Methanol Refinery Oct. 20, 2016 (Kalama, WA)
- Comments to Corps: Final EIS for the Kalama Methanol Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility and the Kalama Lateral Project Should Address New Regional Gas Pipelines
- Comments to Cowlitz County: The NEPA Analysis for NWP-2014-177/2 (Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility) and NWP-2015-111 (Kalama Lateral Project) Should Analyze Regional Gas Supply Pipeline Construction
- EFSEC declines to review Kalama Methanol Refinery
- Comments on Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Applications by Port of Kalama and Northwest Pipeline LLC for the Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility and the Kalama Lateral Pipeline Project.
- Comments on DEIS re: NWIW Kalama Methanol
- Documentary and Discussion with Josh Fox May 19, 2016 (Kalama, WA)
- Cemetery District Challenges Gas Pipeline Approval for Methanol Export May 11, 2016 (Kelso, WA)
- Methanol Comment Period Wraps for Plant in Kalama April 18, 2016 (Kalama, WA)
- Why China Wants Methanol From the Northwest, Sightline Institute
- What Methanol Means for the Northwest, Sightline Institute
- Proposed Methanol Plants in Region Face Fierce Opposition, Seattle Times
- Northwest Innovation Works’ environmental review website
- Read Columbia Riverkeeper and NEDC’s Scoping comments on the Kalama methanol proposal