January 6, 2020
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Port of Kalama sues state over review of methanol plant

Officials from the Port of Kalama are suing the Washington State Department of Ecology over an additional study they say is unnecessary.

The move is an effort to speed up the approval of a $2 billion methanol production facility, The Reflector reports.

"After a great deal of consideration of the options available, the Port reluctantly filed this action against Ecology. The existing environmental review of the project is more than adequate, exceeding all requirements and addressing all of Ecology's comments and questions," Port of Kalama Executive Director Mark Wilson stated in the port’s announcement of the filing. "The Port, the county and the project proponent, Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW) are entitled to have the existing documents reviewed and a decision made."

The requirement for an additional study was announced by the state in late November. State officials maintain they have not received enough information to properly analyze the project, saying a previous review failed to sufficiently analyze the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from the facility's operation, the newspaper reported.

"This type of challenge can only delay the completion of that assessment," department officials said in a statement.

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Forward into Space Investment

Federal space push is an opportunity for Washington

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

The new federal Space Force received just $40 million in the $738 billion defense budget that Congress recently approved.

That amount is as comical as the name Space Force, which sounds like something from a low-budget sci-fi movie.

But that belies serious effort and spending the federal government is now devoting to space activities. Snickering aside, this should renew Washington state efforts to be sure its universities, workers and growing cluster of space companies play substantial roles in these national investments.

As the nation increases space investment, legislators and Gov. Jay Inslee should nurture and grow space research, development and manufacturing in Washington, building on its historical leadership in aerospace and software.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times