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The New York Times story that I referenced in a diary on May 18, 2013 is resonating through the online community as well as Michigan broadcast and print media outlets.

Here is a link to a video from Detroit FOX 2(will not embed)

A particular sentence in the NYT story appeared in many of the other reports on the 3-story high, city block long pile of oil sands waste byproduct.
Photo: Business Insider

The unattributed quote was challenged in the comments in my diary, so I did some digging.

Here's the NYT quote...

The Environmental Protection Agency will no longer allow any new licenses permitting the burning of petroleum coke in the United States.
I think it was proper that several Kossacks disagreed with this statement as there was no attribution or further information on the EPA claim.  Extraordinary claims need extraordinary proof, as we say around these parts.

So, I cranked up the GoogleBlaster, and indeed, the EPA has denied at least one permit for a petro coke power plant, which substantiates the claim in the NYT and subsequent reports.

More below the fold....

A planned 1200 megawatt, $3 billion coal-fired power plant in Corpus Christi, Texas is one of the latest casualties in the war on affordable, reliable energy. Chase Power, the company behind the Las Brisas power plant, announced last month that it is cancelling the project due to red tape and litigation spawned by the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations on coal plants.

Discussing the demise of the project, which would have used the petroleum coke byproduct of refineries as an electricity generating source, Chase Power CEO Dave Freysinger held the EPA responsible. “The (Las Brisas Energy Center) is a victim of EPA’s concerted effort to stifle solid-fuel energy facilities in the U.S., including EPA’s carbon-permitting requirements and EPA’s New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new power plants,” he said. “These costly rules exceeded the bounds of EPA authority, incur tremendous costs, and produce no real benefits related to climate change.”

Industry for Energy and Resesrch (IER) February 20, 2013

It should be noted that, according to Politico,
The American Energy Alliance is the political arm of the Institute for Energy Research, and sources tell POLITICO that both groups are funded partly by the Koch brothers and their donor network.
No big surprise there, but just in case the Koch brothers were lying (gasp), I looked deeper.
Houston firm drops plans for Corpus power plant.
A Houston-based developer has suspended efforts to build a new power plant fueled by the carbon-rich leftover from nearby oil refining in Corpus Christi.

Chase Power said Wednesday that it is going out of business and will shelve plans for the Las Brisas Energy Center while it seeks alternative investors.


The project ran afoul of the federal government’s efforts to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to global warming from new power plants.


Las Brisas, as designed, would burn petroleum coke, also known as pet coke, a refinery byproduct that produces about as much carbon dioxide as coal.

According to these resources, the EPA has enacted strict guidelines for petroleum coke power plants in the U.S. as claimed in the NYT story. Consequentially, Chase Power decided to go out of business rather than face the added expense meeting EPA standards.

It appears the Detroit River Black Mountain is destined for overseas use, which does not mitigate the damage to the global environment. However, it does create a mountain of cash for the Koch family.

If the Keystone Pipeline becomes a reality, other black petro waste mountains will arise across America.

Perhaps the approach to stop this stockpiling of future air pollution is to regulate the storing of petro coke. Unfortunately in the case of Detroit,

New tests by Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality have found the massive piles of petroleum coke sitting along the Detroit River do not pose a threat to human health.


With the EPA and DEQ findings, state officials said there is little action they can take.

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