The little Columbia River town of Kalama, Washington, may soon be home to the world’s largest methanol refinery. If approved by state regulators, the facility would pipe in huge quantities of natural gas to produce the petrochemical methanol for export to China, where it would be used in plastics manufacturing. A companion project in Tacoma proved to be a lightning rod of controversy, and tensions in Kalama are now coming to a boil. Governor Inslee, formerly an ardent backer of the proposals, has acknowledged that important questions remain unanswered.
Yet the state of Washington may help bankroll this project—quietly betting state employees’ retirement funds on a huge new methanol refinery in Kalama. Click here to read the complete report by Sightline Institute on their website.