Washington denies permits for massive fracked gas-to-methanol refinery

“Today’s science-based decision helps ensure Washington’s promise of a livable planet for generations to come.”


In a recent decision, the Washington Department of Ecology rejected the proposal of a massive methanol refinery in Kalama, WA. Ecology denied permitting to Shoreline Management Act, which stops Northwest Innovation Works and the Port of Kamala from beginning construction on any of the refinery’s infrastructure.

The decision came after science-backed research concluded the refinery would have significant climate impact including the shorelines of Washington.

“Today’s decision keeps fossil fuels in the ground where they belong,” Kristen Boyles, Earthjustice staff attorney, said. “Governor Inslee and Ecology put people over polluters by stating once and for all that a clean energy future cannot be built on the back of dirty energy infrastructure.”

Critics of the fracked-gas refinery said it would “pose a catastrophic risk to the fragile Columbia River ecosystem that people and imperiled species depend on to survive.”

“We can’t keep pretending these dirty fossil fuel projects don’t jeopardize our continued existence by accelerating the climate crisis and destroying essential habitat,” Jared Margolis, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Thankfully, Washington has stepped up and rejected this monstrosity.”

The proposed refinery would have been the world’s largest fracked gas-to-methanol refinery and export terminal. With thousands of written comments and hours of public testimony, many residents of Kamala applauded the decision saying Ecology and Gov. Inslee put the public’s interest first.

“People across that state have consistently said they do not support a clean energy future that simply invests in dirty fossil fuel infrastructure,” Alyssa Macy, CEO of Washington Environmental Council and Washington Conservation Voters, said. “Today’s science-based decision helps ensure Washington’s promise of a livable planet for generations to come.”


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Ashley is an editor, social media content manager and writer at NationofChange. Before joining NoC, she was a features reporter at The Daily Breeze – a local newspaper in Southern California – writing a variety of stories on current topics including politics, the economy, human rights, the environment and the arts. Ashley is a transplant from the East Coast calling Los Angeles home.