So far, the public commentary on Northwest Innovation Works’ proposed $3.4 billion methanol plant at the Port of Tacoma has been all heat and no light.
Some of the shriller voices have even gone so far as to suggest the modern, state-of-the-art operation will be no more sophisticated than Wile E. Coyote’s mail-order contraptions.
The fact is, the technology used at the plant will be the first of its kind in the United States. It’s new because it’s environmentally advanced. The plant will significantly reduce carbon emissions while manufacturing a key ingredient to modern life, used in items ranging from baby bottles to cellphones. And, along the way, it will create 1,000 construction jobs and several hundred more permanent, family wage positions.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. The environmental study surrounding the proposed plant has just begun. It includes broad public outreach months before the typical permitting process begins – and that allows extensive public comment as well.
It’s only sensible for our community to seek out facts instead of allowing some people to simply stir the pot.
(Kendall is the president and CEO of the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County.)