Detroit River's pet coke problem not over, just moved downstream

Monday, March 24, 2014 by: PF Louis
Tags: pet coke, Detroit River, tar sands

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work!
The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
Ultraviolet light robot kills Ebola in two minutes; why doesn't every hospital have one of these?
Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical to carry out race-based genocide against Africans
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
The best way to help your body protect itself against Ebola (or any virus or bacteria)
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces
Top ten things you need to do NOW to protect yourself from an uncontrolled Ebola outbreak
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
FDA targets Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps for sharing health benefits of coconut oil
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
Why flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in history
Governments seize colloidal silver being used to treat Ebola patients, says advocate
Flu vaccine kills 13 in Italy; death toll rises

(NaturalNews) You may wonder what pet coke is. It's a byproduct of petroleum processing from crude oil. As explained on BP's (formerly British Petroleum) internet site: "Crude oil is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons, sometimes characterized as 'a useless mixture of useful products.' Petroleum coke is, essentially, the 'bottom of the crude barrel' - the carbon in the crude charge that cannot be recovered in normal refining processes."

Well then, it's a waste byproduct. So what's it good for? It is similar to coal in appearance to coal but yields somewhat higher amounts of energy than it, and with even higher levels of pollution. The EPA has been phasing out its use in the USA by not approving permits for its use anymore.

But market demands from developing companies with lower enforced emission and pollution standards in Latin America, Mexico and several parts of Asia have been one source of revenue for the famed Koch brothers. William Koch's Oxbow Corporation has become a leading international seller of pet coke, selling 11 million tons of the dirty energy annually.

The process of refining crude oil pays off more by selling a waste byproduct and storing it on waterfront sites to be sold in overseas markets. It removes the onus of where to store this waste product from the refineries that collect it.

A recent surge in more accessible but difficult to process toxic sand oil or tar from Alberta, Canada, into the Midwest was achieved by finishing a pipeline connecting Canada's boreal forest tar sands oil reserves to the Great Lakes region.

And the USA's Midwest contains many rail yards and lines and inland waterways that connect to the Great Lakes, the Atlantic via the Montreal waterway and the Gulf of Mexico region via the Mississippi River.

That's the same type of oil the Keystone XL pipeline proposes to transport all the way down to the Gulf region from Alberta, Canada. There has already been a serious pipeline spill of this highly toxic, corrosive crude oil from the existing Great Lakes pipeline into Michigan's Kalamazoo River.

Detroit and Chicago citizens see black and protest nearby open air pet coke storage

Lately, there have been sufficient protests by Detroit and south Chicago residents to arouse actions from both cities being affected by the dust from enormous open-air piles stored on nearby riverfront storage sites or terminals, many of which are owned by the Koch brothers.

The huge piles are often 40 to 50 feet high and cover wide areas. Storage facilities hose them down with water and a sealant, but the tops of the piles do dry enough for winds to blow huge black clouds of pet coke dust into nearby residential areas.

The dust is actually sticky, and even dry coal dust can cause serious long-term health problems by breathing it in. And the pet coke dust can certainly be breathed in. Citizens of both areas have complained that the dust infiltrates their homes or apartments and leaves residues.

In Detroit, the city managed to have the inner city area piles removed. But Detroit Bulk Storage is seeking approval to move down the Detroit River into a 15-acre riverfront site in nearby River Rouge. Though not as populated, River Rouge residents are raising concerns over further polluting a river on the way to recovery.

But some Chicago residents speculate that many Detroit piles were sent to Chicago, where the Koch brothers own a couple of large open-air storage facilities.

The Koch brothers' KCBX company in Chicago struck a deal with BP to be the sole storage facility for pet coke from BP's refinery in nearby Whiting, Indiana. The BP refinery has benefited from the tar sands oil piped in from Alberta and is building a new "coker" to produce more higher-energy-yeild pet coke and assume the status of the second highest pet coke producer in the world.

In early March 2014, Chicago Mayor Emanuel Rahm announced restrictions on pet coke storage that would require all storage sites to completely cover open-air pet coke piles in storage or on moving barges, freight train cars, and trucks within two years.

The pet coke industry is howling about this, but at least the lines have been drawn in the sand.

Sources for this article include:

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.