The Columbian

Published: May 12, 2018, 6:03 AM

Cheers: To considering the environment. A Cowlitz County judge has ruled that the environmental review of a proposed methanol refining project in Kalama must include analysis of potential greenhouse gas emissions. Northwest Innovation Works is planning a $2 billion facility to refine methanol from natural gas for shipment to China.

In considering large energy projects — such as a now-abandoned plan for an oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver and a proposed coal terminal in Longview — the state would be remiss to ignore the global impact and the threat of climate change. Carbon emissions must be counted among the costs of a project for residents in Washington and beyond. Providing a complete picture of a project’s repercussions is the only way for state regulators to make an informed decision when considering whether to approve the Kalama refinery.