This blog is dedicated to raising awareness of the threat to the city of Kalama Wa. and the Lower Columbia River from the installation of a huge methanol refinery and gas pipeline.
The entity behind this project, with reportedly strong ties to the Peoples Republic of China, is Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW).
Click here for more details from nomethanol360.com
Click here for more from Clean Air Kalama
NWIW claims that the operation of this refinery would mitigate climate change due to a net decrease in green house gas emissions. I suggest that this claim is pure fantasy. Even if this gas were to be used "planned" (allegedly to make plastics thus locking up some carbon), how is it possible that fracturing the earth (e.g. fracking) to extract methane gas, piping it across the continent through a vast gas pipeline network, processing it in the Kalama Methanol Refinery and then shipping across the Pacific is cleaner than simply leaving it in the ground to begin with? Are we really going to place our bets on China replacing coal with methanol? That is assuming that the methanol would actually be used to make plastic (more of it to pollute the oceans), but more likely to be used as fuel (more of it to pollute the atmosphere).
This plant would be expected to produce something on the order of 320 million cubic feet of methanol per day to be exported to China while the US imports around 1.5 billion cubic feet per day. Does this make any sense?
In addition to the risk of air and water pollution, are some very real dangers to be concerned about, such as the millions of gallons of highly toxic, highly explosive methanol stored on soil susceptible to liquefaction in the event of an earthquake. I have to wonder about the effect of a large methanol explosion on the Trojan nuclear waste stored just across the river.
Why should the city of Kalama, the Lower Columbia Basin, and the region in general incur all of the environmental risk while any benefits are realized by the Republic of China? Proponents cite the creation of jobs, but would any new jobs be filled by locals or Chinese Nationals?