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Tom Shepherd, VP, Southeast Environmental Task Force narrates a tour of the petroleum coke (pet coke) piles that line the Calumet River in the southeast Chicago community of Hegewisch, just a few miles from British Petroleum's massive new refinery, a four billion dollar expansion of Tar Sands refining capacity that BP claimed was a maintenance project to avoid going through permitting and an environmental assessment of the increased air and water pollution it would add to Lake Michigan and the neighboring communities. Koch Carbon, Beemsterboer and KM Railways own and operate pet coke storage facilities in the South Chicago neighborhood from which they ship the high carbon, vanadium and sulphur contaminated petroleum coke to to industries in China, Mexico and India to be burned as a cheap substitute for coal. Pet coke represents 30% of each barrel of Tar Sands Bitumen. We learn that BP will be creating 2.2 million tons of pet coke per year and that Koch Carbon wants permits to handle and store up to 11 million tons per year of the highly toxic material, as they are already receiving pet coke deliveries from other refineries in Illinois. The pet coke piles are but the visible tip of a business driven environmental disaster of global consequence impinging on the health of residents of Hegewisch, the economic future of Chicago and life on the planet.
Southeast Environmental Task Force - www.setaskforce.org
Tar Sands Free Midwest - www.tarsandsfreemidwest.org