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March, 2013 - After months of complaints about mountains of pet coke, Michigan was relieved to learn that Koch Carbon agreed to move its pet coke storage outside of Michigan. These dirty, polluting  mountains were created by tar sands processing for a cheap (subsidized) but dirty fuel source.

The pile along the river northeast of the Ambassador Bridge, at one time more than four stories high, caused a public outcry after it appeared earlier this year. State Department of Environmental Quality regulators and Detroit city officials appeared to be caught flat-footed by the piles, and scrambled this spring to assess whether they harmed nearby air and water quality only after media reports and complaints from residents and local lawmakers.

A second pet coke pile on Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority property southwest of the Ambassador Bridge was removed this spring.

Detroit Free Press

October 2013 - Mountains of pet coke appear around Chicago.
Just south of the Chicago Skyway bridge, a dusty byproduct of the Canadian oil boom is piling up in huge black mountains along the Calumet River.
Chicago Tribune - Koch's pet coke
Just so you know, Pet Coke is a carcinogen. Think of your loved ones and kids living and playing downwind of these mountains, with pet coke dust blowing off in the slightest breeze. "No, son, that's not pepper. That's a loving gift from Koch Carbon!"


How's about a few definitions and explanations? From the Church of Ineffable Stupidity:

Tar Sands
Oil sands and tar sands, also known as  Bituminous sands, are a readily found type of petroleum deposit.

The sands are made up of mixtures of sand, clay, and water, saturated with an extremely viscous form of petroleum called  Bitumen.  "Oil" produced from Bitumen is frequently called unconventional oil or crude Bitumen, as compared to the far more liquid oil produced from traditional oil wells. However, it may require mixing or additional processing with lighter oils to act properly.


Bitumen is a synonym for Asphalt. It is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum. It may be found in natural deposits or may be a refined product; it is a substance classed as a pitch.

The crude bitumen contained in the Canadian oil sands is described as "petroleum that exists in the semi-solviscous (thick) that it will not flow unless heated or diluted with lighter hydrocarbons. At room temperature, it is much like cold molasses", according to Canadian energy experts. The crude bitumen contained in the Canadian oil sands is described as "petroleum that exists in the semi-solid or solid phase in natural deposits. Initial processing requires barrels of fresh water for each gallon of process Bitumen Oil.

Koch Carbon

Koch Carbon is one of several hundred subsidiaries owned by Koch Industries. Koch is a privately owned company, directing its resources and efforts to Canadian tar sands and transporting it to Texas for final refining and eventual export.

Should the Keystone Kochline be approved, it will bring billions of subsidized petro-dollars to the Koch Brothers.

Texas Koch Pipelines

The pipelines intended to feed the wallets of the Koch Brothers with filthy lucre based on Canadian Tar Sands, were recently inspected. Inspectors found over 250 serious flaws, dents and areas guaranteed to fail under normal use.

The pipelines leading from Canada, skipping past refineries in Illinois or the west coast, have not yet been built. Shipping Bitumen is far more difficult than shipping oil or natural gas. The abrasive nature of Bitumen causes erosion and damage to pipe walls and valves at a far higher rate than oil or gas. The lifespan of bitumen dedicated pipes can be measured in years before a failure is expected, compared to decades for a properly maintained oil pipeline. By all accounts, Koh Carbon is planning on building and utilizing normal pipeline materials, rather than Bitumen dedicated materials.

- - - -

When you see some politician supporting Keystone, try looking into their funding. Americans for Prosperity? Tea Party Express? Whoever is supporting this monstrosity is either willfully ignorant and uninformed, or far more likely, they and their political lives are being underwritten  by the Koch Brothers and their multiple  tentacles of subsidiaries and political action committees.

Whenever you see someone supporting Keystone, think Koch-head. Ask about their addiction. Ask about pet coke. Ask about how billions of gallons of clean water are being wasted to create this dirty fuel. Ask them if they have any shame.

Lettuce prey.


Do you support tar sand refining?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 08:59:37 AM PST

  •  Moving the pile isn't good enough (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    How can pet coke be disposed of?  Burned as fuel is horrible with the very high CO2 plus many other pollutants.  The pet coke from the tar sands seems to be the worse.

    •  There's this big ditch in Arizona, (0+ / 0-)

      allegedly created by god's little finger. That could hold quite a bit umen.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 12:42:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's some room in the Hamptons (0+ / 0-)

    in the front yard of the Koch Bros' mansion for a few cubic yards of petcoke. They could use it for garden mulch.  High in carbon and LOTS of trace minerals and elements.

    The Kochs are currently seeking a new air pollution permit for their Chicago petcoke storage and shipping docks, called KCBX.  Hundreds of folks objected at last Thursday's public hearing because of the current petcoke dust pollution problems.

    Thanks for writing about the Koch's petcoke, it's a growing problem.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 02:09:28 PM PST

  •  You said: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Detroit coke pile disappearing has absolutely nothing to do with coke pile near the Whiting, IN BP refinery.   These
    are separate issues with no connection at all.
    •  So. . . Pepsi, no coke? (0+ / 0-)

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 02:24:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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