Petroleum coke on the Detroit River: An eco-catastrophe waiting to happenJuly 10, 2013
My latest for Socialist Worker, an article on the storage of petroleum coke (tar sands waste) on the Detroit River, went up yesterday. I’ve posted a brief excerpt below. If you want to find out more about petroleum coke, what’s being done to fight it, and what socialists have to say about the fight against the capitalist war on the environment, come check out the International Socialist Organization and Detroit Coalition Against Tar Sands meeting on July 17th at the Anchor Bar at 450 W. Fort in Detroit.
IF YOU visited the Detroit riverfront just east of the Ambassador Bridge before, you wouldn’t see much more than Windsor, Ontario, and a handful of people killing time with some beers and a fishing rod. Since last March, however, something has suddenly interrupted the relatively serene atmosphere: three-story-tall mountains of toxic black dust.
Petroleum coke (or petcoke)–sometimes called “the dirtiest of dirty fuels”–is a waste byproduct of tar-sands oil often used as an inexpensive substitute for coal. It is being stored by the tons on the Detroit riverfront. Left uncovered, virtually any wind stronger than a breeze can carry the fine powder into the homes of nearby residents.
You can read the rest here.