NEWS & ARCHIVES & HISTORICAL LINKS/INFO

8/30 FSEIS released. Updates coming soon. In the meantime see right sidebar on HOME page.

C.A.S.H. chairman, Wu Lebin, continues to advertise to investors that Kalama methanol's end use will be, "as a transportation fuel for cars and ships." despite NWIW's "promise" (see Dock Use Amendment) it will only be used for plastic production. Lebin's bio for his session at upcoming Nov. 2019 investors conference says NWIW will use ULE process to convert North American gas to methanol to provide China with fuel. No mention of plastics!

More NWIW greenwashing. NWIW's GHG mitigation plan. On 7/30 Columbia Riverkeeper sent comments to WA Dept. Ecology regarding NWIW's 5/30 GHG mitigation plan that only addresses a fraction of the GHG pollution. On 7/31 CRK senior attorney summarized the situation Greenwashing fossil fuel export? We won’t stand for it.

NWIW applied for $11.5M federal BUILD grant. Tell Dept. of Transportation U.S. taxpayers shoud NOT pay for construction of dock for Chinese governent-controlled company's benefit. ASAP write to: Honorable Elaine Chao, Secretary Office of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave SE, Washington DC 20590

June 13, 2019: Port of Kalama and NWIW Amend Dock Usage Lease Agreement to "assure" Chinese government contolled NWIW only sells methanol to entities that will not burn it as fuel. Of course this is impossible to police, once methanol leaves U.S. shores we have no control over to whom it is sold or how it is used. Desperate move intended to skirt true accounting of GHG emmissions, sidestep SEPA analysis, and avoid FERC oversight.

June 3, 2019: State Representative Richard DeBolt, (R) LD-20, has serious conflict of interest. While serving in the WA Congress he also earns 6-figure salary as NWIW's Executive of External Relations thus having influence over permits NWIW needs to build its methanol refinery. Seattle Times: State lawmaker touts Kalama methanol plant — and works for company that’s trying to get it built. In fact DeBolt lists NWIW as his main job on his Linked-In page [GIF version] making his service to the people in the 20th district a mere afterthought. DeBolt is officially an agent of Chinese government - violating his oath of office -- not working in best interest of Cowlitz County.

May 18, 2019: No Methanol Land and Water Rally & Community Picnic About 125 people on land and 50 people in kayaks on the Kalama River rallied against Kalama methanol at Camp Kalama, the closest non-industrial business to the proposed refinery. Speakers, music, food! A great success thanks to the activists, local and otherwise especially those who drove down from Seattle/Tacoma or up from S. Oregon. A special shout-out to our hosts Camp Kalama, Columbia Riverkeeper, and Sierra Club.

May 8, 2019: Gov. Inslee opposes Kalama methanol refinery and Tacoma LNG! This is huge as he oversees Washington Dept. of Ecology who have permitting authority over the project. Thank-you Gov. Inslee for being our climate champ :) Inslee announces opposition to two gas projects in Washington after originally supporting both projects. He now says, "I am no longer convinced that locking in these multidecadal infrastructure projects are sufficient to accomplishing what's necessary." What does this mean for our cause? See FAQs from Columbia Riverkeeper.

April 19, 2019: Kalama methanol is to be burned as fuel. Proof! NWIW lies exposed. The purpose of this project is to sell the methanol to be burned as fuel, not solely or even mostly for use in producing plastics. This fact greatly increases the lifecycle GHG emissions. NWIW knew this from the beginning while blatantly lying to the public, state regulators, and permitting agencies. News broke 4/19 by Oregon Public Broadcasting OPB: Controversial Kalama Methanol Plant May Be Misleading Public, Regulators (includes audio, 5 min.). Their story was based on a presentation NWIW gave to investors as recently as Jan. 2019: NWIW's "GTM Investment Overview" presentation to investors, March 2018. Prior to this bombshell find, evidence of NWIW's lack of transparency regarding methanol-to-olefin (MTO) vs. methanol as transportation fuel had been mounting, see links below. This is important not only because it significantly changes GHG emission estimates provided in the EIS currently under review, but also could qualify the project for an EFSEC (Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council) review, for which methanol opponents have called all along. (Columbia Riverkeeper filed petition for EFSEC review in 2016, but it was denied.) By the way, GTM (named for gas-to-methanol, no really!) is a shell company for NWIW, sharing all the same eecutives.

February 2019: We joined forces with Power Past Fracked Gas holding a rally on the steps of the capitol building in Olympia on 2/21. 143,592 public comments opposing huge fracked gas projects (particularly Kalama methanol refinery and Tacoma LNG facility) were delivered to Governor Inslee's office. Guest speakers from around the state joined about 100 climate activists in protest. Related news stories and audio/videos include:

December 2018: Busy month. DSEIS 30-day comment period included community information forum, comment writing workshop, Folly of Frack play, rally and public hearing, multiple LTEs, and sign-waving.

Official comments on DSEIS were submitted by:

Public hearing on 12/13 was attended by over 1000 people. 74% of those who were allowed to speak were against the refinery. 200+ participated in the pre-hearing Power Past Fracked Gas rally. 25,000 written comments were submitted in opposition to the refinery. DSEIS-related news stories and audio/video include:

November 2018: DSEIS released mid-November brought new talking points and infographics, phone banking parties and letter writing workshops. The U.S. 4th National Climate Assessment released by the White House on Black Friday described more horrific news on the climate crisis front bolstering our perseverance and determination.

October 2018: The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published IPCC Special Report: global warming of 1.5° that confirms the dire need to stop using fossil fuels immediately, including fracked gas. CRK and LCSC co-hosted a community forum on the massive PCF anhydrous ammonia plant proposed in Longview. Final recommendations were made regarding Cowlitz County's Health Impact Assessment (HIA) that could have consequences well beyond the main focus on the Millennium Bulk Coal Terminal.

On 10/8 we helped run a Community Forum on Proposed Fracked Gas to Anhydrous Ammonia Plant in Longview hosted by CRK and LCSC. On 10/31 the No Methanol BOO-th at the Halloween event in downtown Kalama handed out thousands of candies and info flyers to Kalama youth.

Summer 2018: Summer events included booth with LCSC at Go 4th in Longview, Folly of Frack play, booth at Kalama Fair, walk in Kalama Chamber of Commerce Parade, No Methanol Mural Reveal, silent protest to get Inslee's attention at Port of Vancouver rail ribbon cutting event, National Night Out community event, Picnic along the Pipeline, canvassing at the Untouchables Car Show, making of "No Methanol" movie clip for People's Climate Movement Day of Action, more!

May 2018: Another victory in the fight against fracking and fossil fuel export! On May 8th the Cowlitz County Superior Court upheld the Washington Shorelines Hearings Board’s decision that the Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County broke the law by failing to disclose and evaluate greenhouse gas pollution from the proposed Kalama methanol refinery. However, it was not all good news for our side as he also reinstated the two key permits, pending the new SEIS. Keep the pressure on Gov. Inslee to protect our climate and go 100% renewable now!

starCowlitz County Superior Court Affirms Port Broke Law by Ignoring GHG Pollution 5/8/2018

Related News Articles:

- Columbian: Methanol plant review will include emissions
- TDN: Judge restores methanol permits, but rules environmental review inadequate
- Sustainable Life: Massive fossil fuel export plant proposed in Kalama faces setback in court

Port of Kalama must now choose: appeal court decision, admit true environmental cost of methanol refining and export; or abandon this dirty fossil fuel project as NWIW did in Tacoma when faced with strong public outcry.

March 2018: Scoping comment period during February was a grand success! 19,000 comments received, 100 new yard signs in 3 weeks, 250 people attended one of four public information meetings, 10+ letters to the editor, solid editorial from the Columbian (Conundrum in Kalama), phone banking to 500 people, and 11 organizations representing local, regional, national, and tribal concerns signed on to the technical scoping comments.

PSR's 2018 Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking was released showing the rapidly expanding evidence indicating harm to health from fracking and methane infrastructure.

February 2018: Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) Report on GHG emissions from Kalama methanol refinery. [Press Release | CRK Blog Post]

- EcoWatch: Fracked Gas Project Could Undermine Washington’s Clean Energy Goals

January 2018 "Climate Countdown Day 1" rally in Olympia with like-minded groups.

December 2017 "No Methanol" Lighted Sign Waving at Festival of Lighted Boats.

November 2017: Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County (using tax payer $$) filed appeals to the State Board's decision on behalf of NWIW. [POK appeal]

- TDN: Cowlitz County joins lawsuit over methanol permit decision
- TDN: Port of Kalama challenges reversal of methanol permits
- AP News via Washington Times: Port of Kalama appeals order nixing methanol project permits
- AP News via Tacoma News Tribune: Kalama port to do environmental review of methanol plant

September 2017: State Shorelines Board rules two key permits invalid! Orders EIS must include all GHG emissions upstream and downstream, ie. from "well-to-wheel".

State Shorelines Board Rules Fracked Gas-to-Methanol Refinery Permit Invalid

Summary judgment in our favour:

Shorelines Hearing Board Summary Judgment Order 9/15/2017

Related News Articles:

- AP News: Permits Invalidated for Big Washington State Methanol Plant
- Columbian: Finn (Woodland Mayor) "disappointed" about methanol plant permits
- Olympian: Physicians oppose methanol refinery
- OPB: Ruling Invalidates Key Permits For Proposed Wash. Methanol Plant
- Reflector: State rescinds Kalama methanol plant permits
- Seattle Times: Board hits brakes on $1.8 billion methanol plant planned for Kalama
- Tacoma News Tribune: Year after Tide-flats methanol plant canceled, permits for Kalama version invalidated
- TDN: State board nixes Kalama methanol permits

June 2017 We made national news! Truthout: Climate Activists in Pacific Northwest Fight Construction of World’s Largest Methanol Refinery

May 2017 Rally and Press Conference at WA Dept of Ecology, east Vancouver.

April 2017 Delivering donated food to Kalama Helping Hands and "Explained - Climate Impacts from the World's Largest Methanol Refinery" events throughout the state. Also, Protect the Columbia Day of Action & Boat Parade.

January 2017 Hearing on the air discharge permit for methanol refinery, rally and eagle release, and shorelines permit hearing.

December 2016 Sign Waving on the rail overpass at Festival of Lighted Boats.

November 2016 Cowlitz County Planning Commission Special Meeting on the Shoreline Master Program Update and three Methanol Refining and Export Forums (Vancouver, Kalama, Longview).

October 2016 Tabling at coal hearing at Cowlitz Expo Center and at Halloween in downtown Kalama.

September 2016 Rally at Toteff Park & "Overpass" March to Port of Kalama.

August 2016 Methanol Explosion Risks & Eminent Domain Workshop at the Kalama Community Center. Also information booth and flyering at the Untouchables Classic Car Show.

July 2016 Letter-to-the-Editor Writing Party and Mailer Assembly Party.

June 2016 Well attended meeting of the cemetery board with William's Pipeline. Famous for activist Diane Dick being told they can't answer her well-formed question because the answer would go "over your head little lady." Ha! Also "Family Fun BBQ" at the Kalama totem pole park.

May 2016 Josh Fox movie "How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change" and discussion at the Kalama Veterans Hall.

April 2016 First major organizing meeting at the Vande Krol home.

March 2016: Estimated 800 people attended the public hearing on the draft EIS (environmental impact statement) held at the Kalama High School on March 22nd and 3000 comments on the DEIS were received by Columbia Riverkeeper (CRK). The CRK informational presentation on the methanol refinery 2 days prior were where many of us first became actively involved in the fight.

  • Draft Supplemental EIS (click "Project Library")
    Released 11/13/2018. Court-ordered mandate was to provide accurate estimates of lifecycle GHG emissions (ie, from well head to refinery to end use). DSEIS grossly underestimates climate damage and claims refinery has "net benefit" to climate. However it uses cherry-picked data (eg, outlier percentage on methane leakage rates) and outdated reports. Make your opposing voice heard! Public hearing on 12/13. Public comment period open until 12/28/2018.
  • Final EIS of NWIW Methanol Refinery (click "Project Library")
    Released 9/30/2016. Still ignores greenhouse gases emitted during fracking process and pipeline leakage and the fossil fuel burned by ships hauling methanol to China. We deserve a full and accurate accounting! [APPEAL]
    Updates: 9/2017 State board deems FEIS illegal! 5/2018 Court upholds that decision. NWIW must write new (supplemental?) EIS that includes GHG emissions "from well to wheel".
  • Clean Air Permit approved by SWCCA 6/7/2017. [Tech | Com | Resp]
  • Shoreline Substantial Development and Conditional Use Permit
    Ecology approved 6/8/2017. Initially denied, then revised application (not shared with the citizenry) approved with conditions. [APPEAL]
    Update 9/2017. Permits invalidated by courts b/c based on the original flawed FEIS.
    Update 5/2018. Permits reinstated by Cowlitz Supreme Court but pending SEIS
    .
  • The chart of permits required, below, is taken from original FEIS.
    CRK's permitting process document provides additional information.

2019-08 Presentation by Fidalgo Democrats (NW WA) "In the Shadow of Danger: Refinery Workers, Communities, Ecosystems"

 

2018-06 Webinar from Food and Water Action "Plastics, Pipelines, Fracking and Our Planet"

 

2018-03 Webinar from Physicians for Social Responsibility "Methane Pipelines: Dangers to Health"

 

The Pacific NW is the Thin Green Line. WA, OR, and B.C. must stand strong together against big oil and gas. Learn more at Sightline's Fossil Fuels NW.

 
 
 

2017 Audio Podcast from Making Contact. Will we allow petrochemical export terminals to turn the PNW into a Sacrifice Zone? [Part 1 and Part 2]

 


      


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Working to stop the world's largest fracked-gas to methanol refinery and export terminal from being built along the Columbia River.
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