These photographs depict a BP refinery at Whiting, Indiana, where BP manufactures petcoke out of waste from Alberta tar sands oil, and Marktown, a historic community that BP is actively clearing in order to expand its operations. The images include aerial views of the BP refinery at Whiting and of the petcoke storage along the Calumet River in Southeast Chicago, Illinois, taken by the photographer, Terry Evans.
Petcoke is a fuel used in manufacturing and burns much dirtier than coal, producing 10% more carbon dioxide. It is so dirty that it is seldom used in the US, but is shipped to China and India.
Petcoke was stored on the banks of the Calumet River, and pollution from these stores blew into the neighborhood until the local activist community in Southeast Chicago successfully pressured BP to quit storing petcoke in their area. Now BP will use the site as a transfer site to transfer petcoke to barges. The local activist community, the Coalition to Ban Petcoke, will not rest until petcoke is completely removed in every way from their neighborhood.
These pictures speak of disrespect and disregard for the local community which has borne the petcoke piles, with its dust blown into their homes, yards, and lungs – and also of BP’s intention to demolish Marktown.
“As we consider the demands of climate change, it is clear that petcoke should never be produced because of its toxic effects on the environment”