On November 4, 2019, Cowlitz County responded to the Washington Department of Ecology's request for information on Northwest Innovation Works' proposed methanol refinery in Kalama, WA.
Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW) is desperate to avoid the fuel use question because burning the methanol for fuel would add roughly 5 million tons per year of additional carbon pollution to the lifecycle emissions of the refinery. The County and NWIW both argued to Ecology that its previous, deficient environmental analysis provides enough information for Ecology to make a decision.
In response to the County's letter, Power Past Fracked Gas issued the following response:
"The proposed Kalama methanol refinery is a carbon bomb that would lock Washington into decades of fossil fuel use when the state is vigorously moving in the direction of clean energy. For five years, NWIW has tried to deceive the public and regulatory agencies about the purpose and impact of building the world’s largest fracked gas-to-methanol refinery on the shores of the Columbia River. Washington’s Department of Ecology has repeatedly asked for basic information, and NWIW has once again refused to provide a complete, thorough response."
-Dan Serres and Stephanie Hillman, Co-Directors, Power Past Fracked Gas Coalition
To learn more about the issue:
- Op-ed "Kalama methanol plant has no place in Washington’s clean-energy future" published by Dan Serres and Professor Paul Thiers of Vancouver in the Seattle Times.
Timeline of NWIW’s Methanol Proposals:
- November 4, 2019 - Cowlitz County Letter to Washington Department of Ecology.
- October 9, 2019 - Ecology requests more information to address major gaps in Supplemental EIS.
- September 11, 2019 - Ecology begins review of Shorelines Conditional Use Permit.
- September 2019 - Port and Cowlitz County release final Supplemental EIS.
- May 2019 - Governor Inslee announces his opposition to the methanol refinery.
- April 2019 - Leaked powerpoint presentations show that NWIW mislead the public and regulators about the end use of methanol.
- December 2018 - Cowlitz County releases Draft Supplemental EIS. 1,000 people attend hearing in Longview, WA, with the vast majority urging denial of the project. Over 25,000 send comments urging denial.
- July 2018 - Cowlitz County court agrees that the EIS violates Washington law.
- September 2017 - Shorelines Hearings Board rules that EIS violates Washington rules for studying greenhouse gas pollution.
- 2016 - Cowlitz County issues EIS and Shoreline Management Act permits for the Kalama methanol refinery; a coalition of groups appeal.
- 2016 - Facing fierce public opposition, NWIW cancels Tacoma methanol project.
- 2014 - NWIW announces methanol refinery proposals in Kalama, WA, Tacoma, WA, and Port Westward, OR.
Join us in urging the Washington Department of Ecology to ultimately reject the Kalama refinery.