Methanol

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

Fracked-gas-to-methanol refineries

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, Washington and Port Westward, Oregon. Methanol is a chemical used to make plastic or burned as a fuel. A single refinery could consume 320 million cubic feet of fracked gas per day, more than all other industrial uses in the State of Washington 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.  

NW Innovation Works methanol refinery

Local and regional opposition to the massive Kalama, WA, methanol refinery, and the associated Kalama Lateral fracked gas pipeline, remains strong. Residents throughout the region have submitted over 25,000 public comments and petitions  about the proposed methanol refinery to government officials.
In 2017, Washington’s Shorelines Hearings Board and the Cowlitz County court ruled that the Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County violated the law by failing to disclose the greenhouse gas pollution that the methanol refinery would cause. In spring or summer 2019, local officials will release a new Environmental Impact Statement to address the methanol refinery’s climate pollution. Scroll to the bottom of the page for detailed resources about the project.  

TAKE ACTION: Protect Our Climate

Tell Governor Inslee and the Washington Department of Ecology to say “No!” to a climate disaster: a proposal for the world’s largest fracked-gas-to-methanol refinery in Kalama, Washington.


Commit to taking three actions this spring:

  1. Call Governor Inslee Today!  
    Dial during business hours (360-902-4111) and tell the governor to do the right thing and oppose the Kalama fracked-gas-to-methanol refinery.
  2. Attend a Hearing.
    Cowlitz County and the Port of Kalama will hold critical public hearings on the Kalama refinery this spring or summer. Subscribe to Riverkeeper’s email list or social media channels for updates.
  3. Forward this petition to Five Friends and Share on Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).
    We’ll deliver another wave of petitions to Governor Inslee and the Washington Department of Ecology this summer. Share Riverkeeper’s petitions with five friends and help build the movement for our climate and river. Visit columbiariverkeeper.org/take-action.

Columbia Riverkeeper members protected the Columbia from massive fracked gas infrastructure projects including the Bradwood Landing and Oregon LNG terminals and the hundreds of miles of new pipelines that would have fed them with gas. Together, we can stop the world’s largest fracked-gas-to-methanol refinery.

Updates:

Gov. Inslee, protect our climate
Protect Our Climate, Oppose the Fracked-Gas-to-Methanol-Refinery
April 19, 2019

Fracked gas or stable climate? Fracking, pipelines, and methanol refineries contribute to climate change. 

opb-news-20190419
Controversial Kalama Methanol Plant May Be Misleading Public, Regulators
April 19, 2019

“This is certainly the most concrete piece of evidence that they really do consider this a fossil fuel export project”

PS Magazine photo at Port of Kalama
Taxpayers May Soon Be On The Hook For A $2 Billion Fracked Gas Refinery
November 7, 2018

"Northwest Innovation Works Promises To Bring Jobs To Rural Washington—But At What Cost?"

 

Watch this video "Protect the Columbia from the world's largest methanol refinery":

Port Westward methanol refinery and rezone

Northwest Innovation Works signed a lease option with the Port of St. Helens to construct a methanol refinery at their Port Westward property near the town of Clatskanie, Oregon. The methanol refinery at Port Westward would mirror the Kalama proposal. The company has not filed permit applications yet. A likely roadblock for the proposal is the amount of available industrial land at Port Westward. Riverkeeper is working with farmers and Columbia County, OR, residents to fight a controversial effort to open over 800 acres of high-quality farmland at Port Westward for industrial development, including methanol and oil-by-rail terminals. We stopped the proposal before. Now we need your help to put this bad idea to bed forever. Learn more about Riverkeeper’s efforts to protect Port Westward.

Beyond Kalama and Port Westward:
methanol refineries mean more fracked gas and more pipelines

Riverkeeper is collaborating with local residents to oppose the world’s largest fracked-gas-to-methanol refineries proposed in Kalama, Washington, and Port Westward, Oregon. But Riverkeeper is also exposing how these massive methanol refinery proposals would increase our region’s consumption of fracked gas and drive construction of massive new gas pipelines into the Pacific Northwest.

Why is fracked gas such a big deal? It is mostly methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Fracked gas fuels climate change and stands in the way of clean energy. Thus far, the methanol company has not explained how the Northwest's limited gas pipeline system could supply the methanol refinery. Gas companies could propose a major new pipeline into the Northwest to supply the methanol refinery. 

Columbia Riverkeeper’s comments on permits:

Blog posts, press releases, and information:

Save the Date: 5/18 "No Methanol on Land and Water"

No Methanol Land and Water Action Community Camp-Out: May 18, 2019, in Kalama, WA.