Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW), a new 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. 2500) despite never having built a methanol facility. 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 burned as transportation fuel, used to make single-use 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 gas guzzler using more fracked gas than all other industrial users in WA combined. This single refinery would use as much fracked gas as 1/3 the entire state of WA does now, using 2½ times all the gas Seattle and Portland use combined. It would emit over 1 million tons of GHG from the smokestack alone and up to 7 million tons when including “upstream” methane leakage from extraction and pipelines.  

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 -- these are the only sustainable ways to power the earth. Renewable energy is the fastest growing job sector. The United States 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 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.
Stop this Kalama calamity.

There is no way to make this refinery look pretty. Quote from CRK.

Next No Methanol Organizing Meeting: Wed 5/1 @ 6 pm

NWIW blatently lied in EIS and to the public about the end use of the methanol. Tell Gov. Inslee and Dept. of Ecology to DENY permits under consideration at

Project Status & Timeline:

  • Comment period for DSEIS ended 12/28. Click ARCHIVES >> 2018 for links to DSEIS-related news stories.

    Now is the time to raise this issue loudly in Olympia!

  • Feb. 21st: Power Past Fracked Gas rally in on steps of Capitol in Olympia. Delivered over 140,000 comments opposing massive fracked gas projects in WA to Gov. Inslee.

RALLY Video.
KIRO News 7 Video.
Watch & Share!

  • May/June: Lifecycle Associates (PR firm hired by Cowlitz County and Port of Kalama to write GHG analysis) release FSEIS. No public comment allowed. Can be appealed at conclusion of Shoreline process.

  • June-ish: Hearing Examiner holds 2-3 day public hearing on FSEIS where Cowlitz Co. and POK present trial-like testimony interspered with public comment.

  • July/Aug: HE's conditional use permit decision presented to Ecology. Ecology has 14 (30?) days to review and make final decision.

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