Methanol refinery to become Washington’s top contributor to climate change by 2025

New Study: Fracked-Gas-To-Methanol Refinery Will Emit Dangerous Levels of Greenhouse Gas


The Kalama methanol proposal would significantly increase Washington’s contribution to climate change, according to today’s report from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), an international non-profit research organization.

The Kalama methanol proposal would cause the equivalent of 3.7 to 7 million tons of CO2 pollution annually, based on 20-year global warming potential. That’s over half the carbon footprint of the massive coal-fired power plant in Centralia, Washington. When the Centralia coal plant closes in 2025, the Kalama methanol project would become Washington’s top contributor to climate change.

Even worse, methanol made from fracked gas in Kalama may actually displace other plastic manufacturing techniques that have smaller carbon footprints. The report also questioned methanol backers’ main talking point: that methanol made in Kalama would offset methanol made from coal in China. SEI found that “there is no guarantee that production of gas-based methanol at the Kalama facility would avoid an equivalent amount of coal-based methanol production in China. By contrast, it seems just as or more likely that [the Kalama methanol refinery] would displace the other, lower-GHG” ways to make olefins and plastics—which could actually increase global GHG emissions.

Ultimately, the Kalama methanol refinery will not help us achieve a low-carbon future or meet the goals in the Paris Climate Accords. According to SEI, approving the Kalama methanol refinery “would not appear to be consistent with globally agreed climate goals of keeping warming at less than 2 degrees Celsius.”

Click here to tell Governor Inslee not to let the Kalama methanol refinery derail our clean energy future.


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