Take Action: Port Westward

Stop Bait-And-Switch Rail Yard at Port Westward

Houston-based NEXT Renewables to build a massive non-conventional diesel refinery at Port Westward. NEXT proposes to locate multiple miles of rail tracks along with a huge refinery on unstable soil, amid wetlands, next to blueberry and mint crops, near homes, and across the road from a Buddhist monastery.

At the same time, NEXT has stopped paying its full rent to the public Port of Columbia County!

Sign our petition calling on the public Port of Columbia County to collect full rent or cancel its lease with NEXT.

To the Port of Columbia County Commissioners:

NEXT should resume paying its full rent, on time and as agreed. If NEXT refuses to pay full rent, the Port should cancel NEXT’s lease and seek compensation for the past due rent.

For years, NEXT’s project has changed shape in ways that undermine the community’s trust in NEXT and the Port. Despite promising not to create significant rail traffic, NEXT now proposes adding over 3 miles of rail tracks within the Beaver Drainage District to accommodate frequent rail shipments. NEXT has already displaced a local farmer, an unacceptable harm for a project with so many flaws and questionable financial footing.

NEXT’s unilateral decision to stop paying full rent is causing significant uncertainty for the Port’s finances. The Port Commissioners should recall that NEXT’s current and former leaders were involved with a clean fuels project that collapsed and shorted the Odessa (WA) Public Development Authority more than $200,000 in back rent.

Please take the reasonable course of action. Require NEXT to pay full rent. If that is not possible, the Port should cancel the lease and obtain compensation for the unpaid rent, totaling $280,000 or more.