Chicago Pet Coke Facilities: One Down, One to Go
The City of Chicago has pushed the smaller of two petroleum coke (petcoke) storage facilities out of town, although the remaining one, owned by avid climate denial funders Charles and David Koch, is digging in for a longer fight. Climate Progress reports that Beemsterboer Slag Corp., under pressure from city officials and residents, is shutting down operations along the Calumet River, with company president complaining that “doing business in the city is increasingly difficult.” But the Koch brothers’ KCBX Terminals is scaling up operations, trying to challenge a 2016 deadline to cover its petcoke piles and a 30-foot limit on their height. “We need to drive KCBX out,” said Olga Bautista of the Southeast Chicago Coalition to Ban Petcoke. “It’s an uphill battle, but we don’t have a choice. We have a 50% higher cancer rate than the rest of the city, and the highest asthma rate in the city of Chicago.” The pet coke originates at BP’s Whiting Refinery in Indiana, according to NRDC’s Henry Henderson , and is an end product of tar sands/oil sands production in Alberta.