The company that has proposed to build a methanol plant on the Tideflats apologized Friday for a promotional video posted without authorization from Port of Tacoma Commission president Connie Bacon, who is shown speaking favorably of the proposal.
Northwest Innovation Works, the China-backed company that has suspended its plant proposal after an outpouring of environment-related criticism from area residents, posted the video Tuesday on YouTube.
Along with Bacon, Gov. Jay Inslee and Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland are shown speaking about the project’s potential economic benefits.
Strickland said hours after the video was posted that her appearance had been “an error” on her part, because she has said the city should maintain a neutral stance as the lead agency for the proposal’s environmental review.
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Friday, Northwest Innovation Works issued a statement apologizing to Bacon for depicting her and others without notification or permission.
“The company understands that Commissioner Bacon did not wish to be featured in the video, especially as she continues to consider decisions related to NW Innovation Work’s (sic) proposed methanol facility.”
The company said it was no longer going to distribute the video.
Bacon and other commissioners are to vote in April on the Northwest Innovation Works request to extend the feasibility period of the company’s lease on the former Kaiser Aluminum smelter site at the port, which expires May 1.
During this time, the company is paying reduced rent and has more freedom to cancel its plans than if the lease enters its construction phase.
Bacon speaks twice in the video. The first time, she says the plant “will be a tremendous shot in the arm to Tacoma.”
Later, she speaks its last line.
“We all win,” she says.
In an email to The News Tribune, Bacon thanked the company for acknowledging its error.
“We continue to review fact and fiction relative to this project,” Bacon wrote, “and want to assure the public who have exhibited high interest in this project that both the Port, the City and NWIW. Intend to make the best decisions for the community.”