No Methanol

Environmental leaders urge Gov. Inslee to reject permits for methanol plan.

For Immediate Release

Local, national organizations launch ads against “top polluter” in WA state.


January 14, 2021 (Olympia, WA)–Local and national organizations leading the fight against climate change today ran a full-page ad calling on Governor Inslee to reject state permits for a fracked gas-to-methanol refinery in Kalama, WA. The Washington Department of Ecology will announce its decision on permits for the refinery within a week from today.

The proposed methanol refinery would be a top polluter in Washington, emitting more than a million metric tons of greenhouse gases each year.

“We are experiencing a climate crisis,” said Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper. “Current emissions have led to warmer global temperatures, degraded water quality, the decline of salmon and orca populations, and health disparities in our communities. We can’t afford to add a mega polluter to an already desperate situation.”

The organizations Columbia Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Power Past Fracked Gas, 350 Seattle, 350 Portland, Food and Water Watch, and Nimiipuu Protecting the Environment signed a letter calling on Governor Inslee to continue to lead the fight against climate change. The letter, which today ran as a full-page ad in The Olympian, follows previous ads published in The Seattle Times and The Olympian calling on Governor Inslee to protect the Columbia River, follow the science, and keep his promises to combat climate change.

“We are lucky to live in a state where our governor believes in and follows the science,” said Ken Lans, M.D., of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Governor Inslee’s quick response to keep Washingtonians safe during the pandemic certainly saved lives. And now we need him to respond similarly to the greatest threat to public health in our lifetime: climate change. This methanol plant should not be permitted in our state.”

The methanol refinery is opposed by several tribes, environmental groups, Kalama’s mayor, and many area residents. Thousands of people have voiced their opposition in public hearings, petitions, and calls to elected officials.

“We all have so much to lose if we don’t make the hard decisions to fight climate change,” said Julian Matthews, a board member and coordinator of Nimiipuu Protecting the Environment and a member of the Nez Perce Tribe. “For tribes, our entire ways of life on the line. Washington is part of our Nimiipuu original territory and we’re committed to protecting it from all threats. We hope Governor Inslee will continue to stand with us and stop this methanol plant.”


Contact: Miles Johnson, Senior Attorney for Columbia Riverkeeper, (541) 436-3625,


We are fighting to stop the world’s largest proposed fracked gas-to-methanol refinery.