1. World’s 14th Worst Air Polluter
In their report Toxic Release Inventory, the Political Economy Research Institute finds that Koch Industries, which is 84 percent owned by Charles G. and David H. Koch – two of four Koch brothers, is the world’s 14th worst air polluter. This is nothing to scoff at. We love to hate BP and Shell for all of their environmental ‘accidents,’ but according to this report, Koch Industries is far more toxic – at least when it comes to air pollution.
2. Petcoke Piles
As if it isn’t bad enough that subsidiaries of Koch Carbon even own huge piles of petcoke, which is a toxic byproduct of tar sands refining that is burned like coal, the brothers are responsible for unsightly and poisonous piles of the stuff that blows into the homes of people living in cities like Chicago and Detroit. According to Polluter Watch and Detroit Free Press, last year mayor Dave Bing ordered the removal or coverage of piles of petcoke along the Detroit River because of its damaging impact on nearby residents. But in Chicago, KCBX Terminals has two years to clean up their mess along the Calumet River.
3. Toxic Corpus Christi
I recently drove through Corpus Christi, Texas, and my environmental sensibilities have never before nor since been more assaulted than during this short journey. The Koch brothers own the Flint Hills Resources oil refinery that processes diesel, jet fuel, gasoline and other industrial chemicals. More than once they have been fined for illegally dispelling highly toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, including Benzene, Butadiene and Sulfuric Acid, and the local people are suffering a great deal as a result. Here’s a great, but disturbing story in the Texas Observer that details the Erin Brokovich-esque environmental horrors taking place in this polluted city astride the Gulf of Mexico.