In their apparent attempt to reduce the world to a charred, lifeless wasteland in which only corporate profit remains, BP and the Koch Brothers have begun to bury southeast Chicago in pet coke. That pitch-black, oily, oh-so-easily-blown-about-by-the-wind-and-inhaled-by-passersby residue is churned out as a byproduct of oil refining. Presumably they thought no one would notice the massive, uncovered hills of industrial waste growing ever larger, looming ominously, and sending billowing dark plumes of grit into peoples’ houses not to mention lungs. Or maybe they assumed no one would care about dumping petroleum residue in the middle of neighborhoods. Clearly they don’t. Situations like this, in which fossil fuel barons just unload waste on communities, continue to demonstrate Big Oil’s complete disregard not only for the environment but also for other human beings. If the Kochs are so sure pet coke isn’t harmful maybe they should stash it in their own back yards and save us the worry. NRDC will continue to fight on the side of the people of Chicago and we were interviewed recently about pet coke by Vice Magazine, which has produced a very informative video on the topic.
A bad couple of days for the oil and gas industry in early February sounds like the set-up for a disaster movie. Explosions, fires, and rivers turned to sludge are just a few of the recent events that would be better relegated to forgotten b-movies instead of cropping up in the lives of actual people. You won’t find any airplane crashes, earthquakes, or alien invasions here. Just your run-of-the-mill pipeline valve failures and attempts to drill in the wrong spot. If only there was some sort of alternative energy sources we could turn to. While your imagination runs wild with visions of clean energy, here’s the dirty energy highlight reel for February … so far:
How many times will they show us this movie? Clean energy is the future and no one has done a better job at showcasing the costs of our current “burn it all” path than the oil and gas industry itself. Keep up the good work guys. If all else fails, you can always try and auction off the film rights.