I have been reading a lot of press lately discussing the Koch brothers and their petroleum coke storing facility in Chicago. The situation is looking pretty bleak. Not only does this worry me for our environment, but I have good friends who live in Chicago. Now they and their families are at serious risk for asthma, cancer, and other adverse health effects. The Koch brothers, who own such companies as Oxbow, Koch Carbon, and KCBX an affiliate of Koch Carbon, (just to name a few) have single handedly effected thousands of individuals and exposed them to some of the dirtiest air imaginable.
Currently, petroleum coke which is a waste by-product of oil refining, is piling up along Chicago’s southeast side. Citizens of these Chicago neighborhoods have complained to the proper channels, but it seems that little is being done to give them immediate help. This comes as no surprise after the huge complaint Koch Carbon received from Detroit, MI citizens a couple of months ago. After two months of complaints, media frenzy, and a single cell phone video showing a huge, dark, billowing cloud of petroleum coke wafting through the air went viral, the Mayor of Detroit finally ordered the pet coke removed; the state Department of Environmental Quality is now doing a review on the impact of such large amounts of pet coke on citizens and the environment.