Washington Denies Kalama Fracked Gas-to-Methanol Refinery

The Washington Department of Ecology denied permits for a proposal to build the world’s largest fracked gas-to-methanol refinery along the shores of the Columbia River in Kalama on January 19, 2021. Citing significant negative impacts on our climate and Washington’s shorelines, the Department of Ecology denied a key permit required to build and operate the $2.3 billion refinery. The proposed plant would have converted natural gas into methanol, producing about one million metric tons of emissions, making it one of Washington’s top 10 emitters.

You and thousands of other Washingtonians called on Governor Inslee and the Department of Ecology to protect our climate, the Columbia River, our communities and our futures from the destructive, polluting Kalama methanol refinery. Many worked for this victory: Kalama residents, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, and more than 30 conservation organizations—including Vancouver Audubon Society, Columbia Riverkeeper, the Power Past Fracked Gas coalition, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Washington Environmental Council.

Northwest Innovation Works, the project proponent, may appeal the decision. The Department of Ecology has excellent legal grounds for denying the methanol refinery, however, and our allies will help defend this victory in court if necessary.

Published by Susan Saul

Conservation Chair, Vancouver Audubon Society

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