Pecoke byproduct of tar sands new threat to environment
Petcoke? What is it and why should I care?
Petcoke or petroleum coke is a powdery by-product of heavy oil refining.
Recently, an expanded refinery on the Detroit River in Michigan has been processing Alberta tar sands crude and producing 1720 tons of petcoke each day.
Last summer and fall winds resulted in billowing clouds of this fine grit which could be clearly seen across the river in Windsor, Ontario.
An expanded BP refinery in Indiana is slated to process the same heavy bitumen from Alberta, producing 6000 tons of petcoke per day.
(Refining of conventional oil results in far less of this by-product.)
Burning of petcoke emits huge volumes of soot and greenhouse gases, but since it is 25% cheaper than coal it is readily sold by brokers like Koch Carbon on the world market where countries like China, India, Mexico and even Canada buy it up for use in coal-fired plants, cement kilns and paper mills.
If approved the Keystone XL Pipeline would result in greatly increased production, sale and burning of petcoke.
However it would be a “cash cow on steroids” for the Koch brothers, the U.S. oil and gas billionaires who will push the approval of the pipeline any way they can legal or not.
Similarily to quote the February 2014 CCPA Monitor “Harper’s dismantling of our environmental regulations, his war on science, and his attacks on unions are lifted directly from the Koch brothers’ ideological playbook”.
We need to sit up and take notice!
Marilyn Chute Port Carling Ontario
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