Port Westward as a facility to import and export appropriate products can be a subject with good opportunities. Unfortunately, there seems to be significant interest in having inappropriate products become the “growth opportunities”.
We do not need carbon fuels or their derivatives coming or going from that Columbia River port because they are inherently poisonous to the land and river and air.
Remember, the UN IPCC has given us short deadlines for elimination of carbon fuel emissions, and no one should consider carbon fuels a legitimate product area for any expansion.
Columbia Riverkeeper issued a statement Friday, following LUBA's decision, marking the remand as a win for opponents of the rezone project and an opportunity for the county to scrap the rezone efforts.
“Today's decision opens the door for Columbia County to protect high-yield farmland and strong salmon runs,” Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, senior organizer for Columbia Riverkeeper, stated in a news release. “Industrializing rural Columbia County with dirty fossil fuel projects like fracked gas-to-methanol refineries and oil-by-rail ignores the public's legitimate concerns about health and quality of life impacts.”
This project is a carbon fuel project that is partially using waste oil. However, some of these projects actually propose simply mixing some food waste oil into mixes of gasoline and tar sands oil as a way of greenwashing tar sands oil. That should not be legal in Oregon, and this needs activist attention.
“They actually came and looked at Port Westward about seven years ago, but we weren't far enough along on the Port Westward [rezone],” Hayes noted. “They're interested in bringing a renewable diesel.”
It's a product that is similar to biodiesel, but differs in the production process and is more compatible with traditional diesel engines.
“Next Energy is looking for a more rapid development timeline. Materials provided to the port indicate the company is poised to make a $750 million capital investment. The company hopes to have a new fuel production plant up and running by the first quarter of 2021, Hayes noted. ”
The Port of St. Helens is pursuing a potential lease agreement with a biofuels company poised to produce synthetic jet fuel.
Port staff, along with Democratic Sen. Betsy Johnson of Scappoose, Columbia County Commissioner Alex Tardif and representatives from Boeing, met with staff from Enerkem — a Canada-based biofuels company looking to expand its operations.
Enerkem confirmed Wednesday that they did visit Port of St. Helens property, but their expansion efforts are currently focused on the East Coast.
“Enerkem is interested by the US market and we are engaged in discussions with potential partners and municipalities mainly on the East Coast at this time,” Pierre Boisseau, senior director of communications and marketing for Enerkem, stated by email. “On the West Coast, including the state of Oregon, we are at the very early stage of exploring potential opportunities.”