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Thomas Frank, former Director of the the Indiana Harbor Shipping Canal (IHSC), urban planner and contributor to the defunct Marquette Redevelopment Plan for Green Industry and Living lays out the history of the area once known as "America's Workshop" because of the concentration of steel mills, oil refineries and related industries in the area where the northern tip of Indiana touches the Southern tip of Lake Michigan. The area, once known as the Everglades of the Mid-west due to it's biological diversity is now one of the most polluted areas in the US, yet its water shed drains into Lake Michigan not far from where Chicago takes it's drinking water. While Chicago continues to de-industrialize its economy, the reverse is the case for Northern Indiana. British Petroleum has built the largest Tar Sands refinery in the US there, in Whiting, Indiana and multinational corporation ArcelorMittal operates the most productive integrated steel mill in the world with but 1/10 of the workers previously necessary 50 years ago. In fact the biggest employer in the area are the gambling casinos with their low wage service jobs. Thomas Frank provides an accounting of what exists but is rarely talked about and what might have been had not British Petroleum become the areas economic feudal master.
Take a narrated driving tour and encounter the nit-ti gritty of the ecological distopia that industry has created. Franks presentation could not due justice to the scope and nature of the contamination or the hubris of the oil corporations for we visit areas where oil actively seeps into waterways. We visit Marktown, a once Utopian community, of the English model, built by the owner of a steel company for his workers. It is now surrounded by toxic industry and being pressured by BP to cease existing all together. We visit the site of the largest oil spill in the U.S. that sits on the shore of Lake Michigan yet nobody is held accountable, nor is it being cleaned up.
For images and additional details see "Everyone's Downstream IV":
The Tar Sands on the Shore of Lake Michigan -