“The Kalama Lateral Pipeline would create a three-mile-long scar across Cowlitz County. It’s wrong to place the interests of fossil fuel corporations above those of private landowners” -Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, Senior Organizer with Columbia Riverkeeper.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Landowners Threatened with Eminent Domain Call on Governor Inslee & Port Of Kalama to Reject Proposed Petrochemical Refinery, Pipeline
September 20, 2018 (Kelso, WA)—Today, over 50 people gathered for a “No Methanol!” Protest and Picnic at the historic Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, one of many properties threatened by the Kalama Lateral Pipeline, a proposed fracked-gas pipeline required by Northwest Innovation Works to fuel a methanol refinery at the Port of Kalama. Threatened with eminent domain, property owners along the proposed Kalama Lateral Pipeline route shared their opposition to the Northwest Innovation Works’ proposal and gave public tours of the proposed fracked-gas pipeline route.
“The proposed pipeline is within feet of my well and my home,” stated Kathy McNeill, one of the landowners along the proposed pipeline route. “This pipeline endangers my home and the wildlife around it. Governor Inslee, please stand up and deny this project.”
Business owner Susan Groat Powell, a part-owner of Kalama Quarry, said, “If that pipeline is built, eminent domain will happen. Eminent domain matters for anyone who owns private property in the United States. We’re hoping to fight this so the pipeline will not be built.” Kalama Quarry is on the proposed pipeline route.
“The Kalama Lateral Pipeline would create a three-mile-long scar across Cowlitz County,” stated Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, Senior Organizer with Columbia Riverkeeper. “It’s wrong to place the interests of fossil fuel corporations above those of private landowners.”
Background on proposed methanol refinery
A subsidiary of the Chinese Academy of Sciences called Northwest Innovation Works proposes building two of the world’s largest fracked-gas-to-methanol refineries in Kalama, WA, and Port Westward, OR. Methanol is a chemical used to make plastic or burned as a fuel. The Kalama project requires a 3.1-mile lateral pipeline known as the Kalama Lateral pipeline to supply the refinery with the fracked gas feedstock. The Kalama Lateral pipeline could deliver 320 million cubic feet of fracked gas per day, more than all other industrial uses in Washington state combined. Each refinery would emit more than 1 million tons of greenhouse gases from the smokestacks alone—and emit up to 7 million tons when “upstream” methane leakage is considered.
Current status of the proposal
Local, state, and federal agencies are currently reviewing the environmental and human health impacts of the proposed Kalama methanol refinery to determine whether the facility will receive several necessary permits. In 2017, a Washington state court ruled that the Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County's review of the methanol refinery proposal violated the State Environmental Policy Act. These agencies are expected to release an updated draft environmental report—focusing on the methanol refinery's contributions to climate change—sometime this fall.