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The World’s Largest Methanol Refinery (and the fight to stop it)-ENCORE

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The Fight to Stop the World’s Largest Methanol Refinery

Barbara Bernstein’s story of several communities in the Pacific Northwest of the United States who are fighting mammoth fracked gas projects that would turn this green region into a fracked-gas export hub. For years, Bernstein has reported for Making Contact on David versus Goliath battles against oil and gas corporations, and the fight for a clean environment. Today you’ll hear part one of Bernstein’s project, Holding The Thin Green Line as we bring you, The World’s Largest Methanol Refinery.

Barbara Berstein received funding from: The Regional Arts and Culture Council, Steven and Jan Marx, and The Fund for Investigative Journalism.

Photo Caption: Claudia Riedener has lived in Tacoma since 1998, and is co-founder of the grassroots environmental group Redefine Tacoma. (photographer unknown)

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  • Claudia Riedener is a ceramic artist and co-founder of the grassroots environmental group Redefine Tacoma.
  • Nanette Reetz lives in NE Tacoma and is part of Redefine Tacoma.
  • Val Peaphone is a union representative, Tacoma activist and member of Redefine Tacoma
  • Eric de Place is director of the Thin Green Line at Sightline Institute in Seattle.
  • Bill Kupinse teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Puget Sound.
  • Todd Hay leads a data team at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is president of Advocates for a Cleaner Tacoma.
  • Kristin Ang is a Tacoma lawyer who is running for a position on the Port of Tacoma Commission.  [She will very likely win, but we won’t know that until November]
  • Clare Petrich is a long-time Port of Tacoma Commissioner. [She will be retiring at the end of the year.]
  • Lou Paulsen is the director of Strategic Operations projects and risk management at the Port of Tacoma.
  • Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky was senior organizer for Columbia Riverkeeper from 2012 – 2019. She was their principal organizer in Cowlitz County and did groundbreaking work in helping to coordinate opposition the Kalama Methanol Refinery. She now works for Friends of the Columbia Gorge on farm, forest and fish issues.
  • John Flynn is retired from Union Pacific Railroad and has lived in Kalama since 2010. An ardent sports fisherman, he became one of the early methanol opponents and is now running for Kalama City Council.
  • Sally Keely is a 21-year resident of Kalama and a mathematics professor at Clark College in Vancouver, WA. She along with her daughter Cambria and husband Mark have been fighting the Kalama methanol refinery since 2016.
  • Diane Dick, a 34 year resident of Cowlitz County, has been involved in local environmental issues since 2012.
  • Vee Godley is president of Northwest Innovation Works, a Chinese-backed company that wants to build the world’s largest methanol refinery in Kalama.
  • Dan Serres is the Conservation Director for Columbia Riverkeeper.
  • Peter Erickson is a senior scientist with Stockholm Environment Institute in Seattle. He co-wrote a discussion brief that examined Kalama Methanol’s extensive greenhouse gas emissions and also questioned whether the methanol would be used for fuel rather than making plastics, as Northwest Innovation Works was claiming.
  • Kevin Tempest is with the Low Carbon Prosperity Institute in Seattle, and was the lead researcher for a paper commissioned by Northwest Innovation Works that challenged Stockholm Environment Institute’s findings and supported the controversial draft supplemental environmental impact statement conclusions.
  • Clare Petrich is a long-time Port of Tacoma Commissioner, who will be retiring from the Port Commission at the end of 2019.
  • Lou Paulsen is the director of Strategic Operations projects and risk management at the Port of Tacoma.



  • Episode Producer: Barbara Bernstein
  • Executive Director: Sonya Green
  • Staff Producers: Anita Johnson, Monica Lopez, Salima Hamirani 


  • Barbara Bernstein Original Music Composition & Performance
  • Show open and close Blue Dot Sessions, Grand Caravan


Author: Radio Project

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