Fracked Gas

Methane leaks from fracked gas wells and pipelines are so severe that fracked gas can be as bad for our climate as coal.

Stopping the nation’s largest new fracked gas (a.k.a. "natural" gas) users is important to fighting climate change. At a time when we need to move aggressively away from fossil fuels—and towards efficiency and renewables—building more fracked gas infrastructure would dramatically increase our region’s fossil fuel consumption for decades.

Today, the gas industry plans a stunning increase in fracked gas infrastructure and consumption in Washington and Oregon. This includes fracked-gas-to-methanol refineries, pipelines, and fracked-gas-fired power plants. 

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. Learn more

Fracked gas-to-anhydrous ammonia plant

Pacific Coast Fertilizer LLC wants to build and operate a 61-acre petrochemical facility in Longview, WA, to process fracked gas into anhydrous ammonia—an extremely hazardous chemical that threatens people’s health and safety. The facility would store anhydrous ammonia several thousand feet from homes and transfer the ammonia in 100 to 200 tanker trucks per week and ocean-going ships. Learn more

Fracked-gas-fired power plants 

Energy companies are considering new fracked-gas-fired power plants instead of increasing efficiency and renewable energy. As we retire coal-fired power plants, we cannot simply replace coal with fracked gas. Already, Columbia Riverkeeper and our allies stemming the new tide of fracked gas power plants. Portland General Electric (PGE) proposed two large fracked gas power plants near Boardman, Oregon. Riverkeeper and our partners objected, and PGE withdrew its plans for these power plants in early 2018. Read more

Pipelines

Fracked gas to feed all of these proposed methanol refineries, power plants, and petrochemical facilities would come into the Pacific Northwest in massive pipelines. The existing gas pipeline system is meeting our region’s needs, and residential gas use is not projected to grow significantly. However, the new proposals to use massive amounts of fracked gas would over-tax our existing pipeline system.  
In response to mega-fracked gas proposals like the methanol refineries, the gas industry is proposing two large new pipelines. The Trail West pipeline would cross Mt. Hood National Forest, and the Sumas Express pipeline would transect Washington along the Interstate 5 corridor.
New fracked gas pipelines threaten land and water, private property rights, and human health and safety. New fracked gas pipelines will also lock our region into decades of dirty fossil fuel use.   
An executive for the company promoting the fracked gas-to-methanol refineries has even admitted that building both of the proposed methanol refineries would require a massive new fracked gas pipeline into the Pacific Northwest.  

Three Things to Help:

1.) Read: Study shows Kalama methanol refinery’s huge climate pollution.

2.) Watch: Learn about the local impacts in Kalama.

3.) Speak Out: Share your opposition.

About Methanol

Research. Fact sheets. Comment letters. 

Take Action: Protect Our Climate

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