Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW), a limited-liability company controlled by the Chinese government, wants to build the largest methanol (a volatile petrochemical) refinery in the world (about as large as all seven U.S. methanol refineries combined) on the Columbia River in the small town of Kalama, Washington (pop. 2700) despite never having built or operated a methanol facility. Methane (a potent greenhouse gas, GHG) hydraulically fractured (What is fracking?) in B.C. and the Rockies would be transported across the entire state by a 300-mile long Williams pipeline and a new 3.1-mile lateral pipeline through historic Mt. Pleasant Cemetery and local homeowners' private property (seized by eminent domain), converted to methanol (in a process never before used industrially at this scale), and exported in super-tankers through the Columbia River estuary to China where it would be burned as transportation fuel, used to make plastics, or sold on the open market.

Local climate activists at silent sidewalk protest in Fruit Valley, April 2018, while Gov. Inslee campaigned at elementary school.
Sidewalk protest during Gov. visit, Fruit Valley, 2018-04-16. Photo credit: Mark Keely

If built this refinery would be a top polluter and massive fracked fossil-gas guzzler using more "natural" gas than all other industrial users in WA combined. This single refinery would use more gas than 1/3 the entire state of WA does now, that's 2½ times all the gas Seattle and Portland use combined. It would emit a staggering 12 million tons of carbon pollution to the atmosphere every year.
(See FACTS with links to sources.)

Cambria Keely speeking at anti-methanol rally and eagle releast, January 2017, Longview WA.
Eagle release and rally, Longview, 2017-01-23. Photo credit: Rick Rappaport

This is NOT a "not in my backyard" protest. This massive polluter should not be built ANYWHERE. We need to REDUCE our use of fossil fuels, keep them in the ground! Grow green energies NOW -- wind, solar, geothermal, tidal power -- these are sustainable ways to power the earth. Renewable energy is the fastest growing job sector. The U.S. must not let this opportunity for economic justice pass by.

Peoples Climate March Boat Parade April 2017 Kalama Wa. John Flynn, boat owner. Rick Rappaport, Photographer.
Peoples climate march, Kalama, 2017-04-29. Photo credit: Rick Rappaport

This refinery would obligate Washington state to decades of fossil fuel infrastructure and consumption, contribute substantially to global heating, use vast amounts of fresh water, pollute our air and river, harm salmon, take local residents' private property through eminent domain (for corporate not public gain), and expose the people of the northwest to health and safety risks. This is an extremely destructive proposal all for 192 jobs (few from Cowlitz County), profits to China, and more plastics clogging our oceans. Not worth the risks!

Say NO to methanol. Don't let our magnificent
Columbia River estuary become the new Gulf Coast.
Protect the Pacific Northwest's #ThinGreenLine

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Stop this Kalama calamity.

Kalama sits on Cowlitz Indian Tribe ancestral lands from time immemorial. We acknowledge their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waters and honour their stories. We stand in solidarity with BIPOC against systemic racism and bias and in protection of marginalized and fence-line communities.

Next No Methanol
Organizing Meeting

Wed 4/7/2021 @ 6pm

Conducted Virtually.


2/23 NWIW requested second extention on SWCAA air discharge permit.

2/9 NWIW and the Port appealed Ecology's shoreline permit denial to the Shorelines Board. Case #S21-001 likely to be heard summer 2021.
[CRK PR | Appeal doc]

1/21 Port of Kalama and the Corps appealed the 11/23 decision to the ninth circuit court. This process is likely to take 1-2 years.

1/19/2021 SHORELINES PERMITS DENIED! Dept. of Ecology denied key shorelines permits. NWIW cannot build refinery without them.

Read Ecology's Press Release, Director Watson's statement, and the actual Decision Letter.
See "News & Archives" page for press releases and news.

Icon of a star.Send THANK-YOU to Ecology, Dir. Watson, and Gov. Inslee for protecting our environment, health, and the Columbia here: VICTORY-METHANOL

12/9 Port of Kalama's motion for reconsideration denied by federal judge who refuses to reconsider his federal court order vacating key federal construction permits. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must conduct full EIS and include Kalama lateral pipeline in their GHG assessment. This evaluation could take a year. NWIW cannot build refinery without federal construction permits!

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