Given the reality of climate change, it seems foolhardy to consider building the methanol plant on the Tacoma Tideflats. The environmental impact statement must weigh projected electricity and water usage with citizens’ needs.
The plant will take a tremendous amount of water and electricity. Tacoma Public Utilities Director Bill Gaines said TPU will spearhead buying electricity on the open market because Tacoma can’t supply the amount needed. The EIS must tabulate this to reflect how electric bills will be impacted if Northwest Innovation Works refuses to pay for more expensive electricity.
The EIS also should include a combined total of projected electricity use by the methanol plant and the Niagara Bottling Company as well as a combined total of water use.
Just as we don’t have enough hydroelectric power for the methanol plant, we can’t afford another facility requiring huge amounts of water when research by the University of Washington predicts more frequent droughts and scarcer hydroelectric power.
In a drought, citizens’ needs will be competing with contracted industrial commitments.