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View Diary: Fossil fuel pickpockets are bankrupting states (32 comments)

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  •  A prime example (7+ / 0-)

    In 2010, Leucadia, a cartel of New York speculators as rich as Berkshire Hathaway, got $1.56 Billion in "GO ZONE" (hurricane recovery) Bonds from Louisiana, along with a $260 million Federal DOE grant.

    Leucadia claimed they were going to build a plant in Lake Charles Louisiana to recover natural gas from petroleum coke, a refinery waste product.

    But natural gas prices tanked, so the plant wasn't built and the $1.56 billion in bonds and $250 million grant sat unused for over three years, when it could have been used to build/repair tens of thousands of homes, hospitals, levees, highways, and so on.

    Recently Leucadia modified their scheme to manufacture methanol, a chemical feedstock, instead.  But they still haven't started construction.

    PS: Leucadia also sucked up hundreds of millions in federal money for other aborted coal/coke projects in Mississippi, Indiana, and Illinois.

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 02:42:36 PM PST

    •  A link to Leucadia (6+ / 0-)

      link - Posted: Oct 29, 2012 12:13 PM by AP

      Leucadia National Corp. said Monday that it's signed contracts to sell methanol, hydrogen and carbon dioxide from a plant that would convert an oil refinery byproduct called petroleum coke.
      [snip]
      Johnston said it's too soon to tell how much of the project Leucadia will own. He said that depends on what investors come forward. Johnston said one task is finding investors who can use the $273 million in federal tax credits available to the plant. The company also has $260 million in U.S. Department of Energy grants it must spend by Sept. 30, 2015.

      The company has issued $1.56 billion in GO Zone bonds awarded by the state of Louisiana and is holding proceeds in the bank, Johnston said. Created by Congress after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in 2005, tax-free GO Zone bonds allow companies to borrowing money at lower interest rates. - emphasis added

      Although what this company is proposing, at least in part, sounds like a better use of polluting waste than other endeavors -  repurposing of oil refinery by-product called petroleum coke instead of just dumping it wherever Big Oil normally does.

      But it would be far far better, and only fair to us taxpayers, if the petroleam magnates paid for their own pollution clean-up out of their enormous profits for a change.

       

      •  Currently (6+ / 0-)

        the petroleum coke is sold for essentially nothing, and shipped to chinese power plants that burn it instead of, or with coal.

        So in a manner of speaking the coke is currently re-used as power plant fuel.  It burns, and emits pollution, similar to burning coal.

        Using petroleum coke as feedstock and fuel for a methanol plant will also produce hundreds of tons of air pollutants annually.

        This plant's big advantage is that they will capture the carbon dioxide, pipe it to Texas, and pump it underground into a spent oil field.  That removes greenhouse gasses, and recovers crude oil, in an environmentally beneficial way.  The CO2 pipeline is why the Dept. of Energy put money into it.

        But would Louisiana have been better off spending that billion-plus in hurricane relief on intrastructure improvements and low-income housing, rather than letting titans of finance sit on the money for 3 years, waiting for their fossil fuel project to pan out?

        Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

        by 6412093 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:19:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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