Windsor, Canada- "A three-story black mountain of petroleum coke is covering an entire city block on the other side of the Detroit River."
Petroleum coke is a byproduct of refining Canadian oil sands bitumen. According to an article in the New York Times, Kerry Satterthwaite, a petroleum coke analyst at Roskill Information Services, said, "“It is worse than a byproduct,” Ms. Satterthwaite said.“It’s a waste byproduct that is costly and inconvenient to store, but effectively costs nothing to produce.”
The waste byproduct is purchased by Koch Carbon and sold as fuel in Mexico and China. The EPA (the agency the Koch brothers want to dismantle) no longer allows any new licenses permitting the burning of petroleum coke in the United States.
Lorne Stockman, who recently published a study on petroleum coke for the environmental group Oil Change International, says, “It’s really the dirtiest residue from the dirtiest oil on earth."
Koch Carbon is controlled by Charles and David Koch, wealthy industrialists who back a number of conservative and libertarian causes including activist groups that challenge the science behind climate change. The company sells the high-sulfur, high-carbon waste, usually overseas, where it is burned as fuel.Of course this adds to global warming, so it is not really a "not in my backyard" issue. Not to be be upstaged by his brothers, William I. Koch owns a company called Oxbow Corporation, "which sells about 11 million tons of fuel-grade coke a year."
So for now, the citizens of Detroit are forced to look across the river at this growing pile of pollution, while the Koch family profits from destroying the planet.
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10:01 AM PT: As pointed out by those with better local knowledge, the Koch coke is on the Detroit side of the river.