Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra
Tammy’s views are her own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bill Eagle, his pastor, Tammy’s neighbors, Wayne Mayo, Betsy Johnson, Joe Corsiglia, President Trump, Henry Heimuller, VP Pence, Pat Robertson, Debi Corsiglia’s dog, or Claudia Eagle’s Cats. This Tammy’s Take (with the exception of this disclaimer) is not paid for or written by, or even reviewed by anyone but Tammy and she refuses to be bullied by anyone.
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This “GREEN” plant could be in Columbia County, if we had forward thinkers in charge
North West Innovation Works (Methanol Plant) claims they are a “Green” industry. But what is considered “Green” by the methanol industry standards does not fit with NWIW. Most methanol is produced from natural gas and coal such as NWIW is proposing, nothing “Green” here. But renewable methanol (green methanol) does exist in form of biogas or biomass gasification. Through a power to gas process based on renewable hydrogen and carbon dioxide synthesis fix carbon emissions from related industry. NWIW does not fit into this category.
Green methanol: Green methanol can be produced in various ways and is thus CO2 neutral from well-to-wheel. Bio-mass: Green methanol can be produced from bio-mass or the biodegradable part of garbage, such as wood waste. Syngas: Another way to produce green methanol is from the extra sustainable wind power, which is contained in a liquid form in methanol and converted into energy. This method is called green methanol synthesis.
Renewable facilities are from Iceland (Carbon Recycling), The Netherlands (methanol from biomass) Sweden (methanol from forest waste), and Nerken (methanol from municipal solid waste (garbage).
Canada has seen the importance of moving away from fossil fuels and has invested in new and green technologies. Enerkem is the company behind the new “green technology. With Canada investing with them, the facility is helping to increase Edmonton’s waste diversion rate from 50 per cent to 90 per cent. As part of a 25-year contract, the city will supply the plant with 100,000 tons of waste a year, and through the process it will create 38 million liters of biofuel with the waste. This new technology is outstanding because it will divert waste that would otherwise end up in landfills.
At this time Canada is exporting ‘green’ methanol to China, methanol which is made from household garbage from a facility built by Enerken, they even convert old carpet and other non-recyclable trash into ethanol that refineries can add to gasoline to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Enerkem and Sinobioway which is based in Beijing, announced a partnership in January, they plan to build more than 100 Enerkem facilities across China 9n the next 17 years.The investment was led by Blackrock, which is the largest asset manager in the world.
The one drawback to any of these plants which produce methanol or ethanol is that they use approximately a million gallons of water a day. But there is also a “green” solution approach to this problem as well. These plants have come up with re-using waste water from treatment facilities. We have the property; we have access to water treatment facilities such as Portland, who has 2,256 miles of waste water pipes and a 140 acre treatment plant and can process 450 million gallons per day.
Why not build a huge pipeline above ground from Portland’s “Big Dig” and transport it to an Enerkem facility on Port property in St. Helens. Yes it would be costly but it would create jobs, keep waste water from Portland spilling into the Columbia River intermittently, we could add waste water of our own as well. We have had decades of dirty industry and are now suffering the consequences with climate change, dirty air, contaminated water. We need to step up and pay the piper and embrace new technology and do what we need to do to clean up after ourselves as we go. Instead of leaving a mess for future generations to live in.
Now why would the Port of St. Helens and Columbia County invest and promote old dirty fossil fuel technology offered by NWIW, when there are new “green” alternatives. Why would China need methanol from NWIW at Port Westward when in a few years they will have 100 of their own operating plants. While Enerkem is looking for sites to build in the US, why doesn’t the Port of St. Helens investigate the possibility of siting them here? Partner with other counties in Oregon/Washington to collect their garbage for processing. Reduce the need for more landfills. We have nothing to lose but everything to gain.