Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW), a subsidiary of the Chinese government's Academy of Sciences, a new limited-liability company that has never built a methanol facility, 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. 2500). Fracked methane (a potent greenhouse gas) from B.C. and the Rockies would be transported across the entire state by a 300-mile long Williams pipeline (which will need a diameter expansion and a new 3-mile pipeline through local residents' private property taken by eminent domain), converted to methanol (in a process never before used industrially), and exported in super-tankers through the Columbia River estuary to China where it would be used to make plastics, burned as transportation fuel, 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 gas guzzler using more fracked gas than all other industrial users in WA combined, emitting more than 1 million tons of GHG from the smokestack alone, and emitting up to 7 million tons when including “upstream” methane leakage.  

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 facility should not be built ANYWHERE. We need to REDUCE our use of fossil fuels, keep them in the ground! Grow sustainable energies NOW -- wind, solar, geothermal -- these are the only acceptable way to power the earth. Plus renewable energy is the fastest growing job sector.

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 warming, 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

Disclaimer: We do our best to assure all statements here are factual and sourced. We claim no responsibility for typos, errors, or misstatements.


Join Us in Action Now!


Next No Methanol Organizing Meeting: Wed 11/7 @ 6pm. Note new day, now 1st Wednesdays.

VOTE by Tuesday 11/6.

In the 20th Legislative District
we support John Thompson over incumbent Richard DeBolt. Read Thompson's positions & priorities.

Did you know? Richard DeBolt, while serving as LD20 State Representative, ALSO holds paid position, Executive of External Relations, for NWIW. Conflict of interest! In fact DeBolt lists NWIW as his main job on his Linked-In page [GIF version]. DeBolt is officially an agent of Chinese government - violating his oath of office -- not working in best interest of Cowlitz!

Check out labor unions AFL-CIO "lifetime legislative voting rating" on incumbents DeBolt and Orcutt. Some of lowest in WA. [PDF version]

Current status of methanol refinery project via Columbia Riverkeeper:  
"Local, state, and federal agencies are currently reviewing the environmental and human health impacts of the proposed Kalama methanol refinery in order to determine whether the facility will receive several necessary permits. Earlier this year, a Washington State court ruled that the Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County's review of the methanol refinery proposal violated the State Environmental Policy Act. These agencies are expected to release an updated draft environmental report—focusing on the methanol refinery's contributions to climate change—sometime this fall."


Past updates at ARCHIVES.

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