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

Northwest Innovation Works proposed building two of the world’s largest fracked-gas-to-methanol refineries in Kalama, Was. and Port Westward, Ore. 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. In a stunning victory, we defeated the Kalama refinery in 2021. But Port Westward is still on the table. Learn more

Fracked gas-to-anhydrous ammonia plant

In another incredible victory for the climate and river communities, in 2020 Pacific Coast Fertilizer LLC abandoned plans to build and operate a 61-acre petrochemical facility in Longview, Wash. Anhydrous ammonia is an extremely hazardous chemical that threatens people’s health and safety. The company proposed storing anhydrous ammonia several thousand feet from homes and transferring the ammonia in 100 to 200 tanker trucks per week and ocean-going ships. Learn more

Fracked-gas-fired power plants 

As coal-fired power plants started to come offline, instead of increasing efficiency and investing in renewable energy options, energy companies proposed numerous new fracked-gas-fired power plants across Oregon. We are currently fighting to stop a proposed fracked gas power plant that threatens people’s health and would undermine Oregon’s climate goals. 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 proposed two massive pipelines. The Trail West pipeline would cross Mt. Hood National Forest, and the Sumas Express pipeline would transect Washington along the Interstate 5 corridor. 

In addition, TC Energy is full steam ahead with plans to expand its Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) pipeline by 250,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d). For context, one dekatherm would provide enough gas to fully service five average-sized households; so TC Energy’s expansion is equivalent to the amount of gas necessary to service 1.2 million households each day. That’s an awful lot of gas to be piping into a region that is clearly moving away from its reliance on fracked gas. Learn more

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. 

About Methanol

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