Opponents of proposed Kalama refinery rally at nearby park - KPTV - FOX 12

Opponents of proposed Kalama refinery rally at nearby park

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The people of Kalama gathered Monday to make their voices heard before county officials decided whether to approve the construction of a $1 billion dollar methanol plant.

At the same time just down the street at a local park, demonstrators made their voices heard with a powerful act of nature.

A bald eagle was released back into the wild after an extensive rehabilitation process. The act was coordinated between the Columbia Riverkeepers and the Portland Audubon Society.

Officials with the event say the release served to represent the potential danger this new refinery might have on wildlife in and around the Columbia River.

Mother Nature isn't the only thing threatened by the planned refinery, though. Opponents of the plan say the plant would consume one-third as much gas as the entire state of Washington.

Some residents around the area say that's just the start of the potential danger and worry the plant will try to seize private property and possibly build a new pipeline.

Still, other people think the plant could bring new opportunity, as well as new jobs.

"I want to see the jobs, I want to see the construction jobs, but even more than that, our members are working,” Mike Bridges with Longview/Kelso Building and Construction said. “I really see a project like this helping the local, really just the average person in Cowlitz County."

There are still two days of hearings left before a decision is made.

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