Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Murphy Oil Expansion At Superior, WI, Is Part Of A Regional Plan

The Chicago Tribune recently catalogued the large expansion in greenhouse gas emissions across the Great Lakes region that will result from the planned increase in oil refining, including the seven-fold spike in capacity at Murphy Oil's Superior facility.

The Great Lakes oil refineries scheduled for large expansions will process heavy Canadian tar sand crude oil extracted with huge expenditures of money, energy and water resources.

The resulting air pollution is at odds with the Great Lakes governors' recent regional commitments to solving global warming with conservation measures and energy alternatives.

And a large expansion at Superior would expose the cleanest of the Great Lakes to pollution just as Superior residents and the region's fish and wildlife are beginning to reap the benefits of a $6.3 million cleanup of earlier polluted runoff from refinery operations.

Some details and history, here.


Anonymous said...

Egad, how awful. All those refineries along the Great Lakes shorelines? What are the governors thinking? This is water we drink. One oil spill from a ship wrecked in a powerful Lake Superior storm and Northern Wisconsin is doomed. Plus, it's all risk and no reward. Expect all the profits to skirt state taxation somehow.

If only Gaylord Nelson were still around to lobby the politicos and get them thinking straight. The answer is not more oil refineries; it's to use less oil by independence from the automobile.

Anonymous said...

There are no longer ships carrying oil or petroleum products on the US side of Lake Superior. The Canadians still allow it however.....

Anonymous said...

If you are willing to pay $4 or $5 or more for a gallon of gasoline, I can agree with you. However, most people aren't.

By the way ... did you drive to work today?

James Rowen said...

Yes, Anon, I did drive, to rural Waukesha, not served by transit.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification on petroleum ships on the Great Lakes, Anonymous 1. I stand corrected.

From Anonymous 2, "If you are willing to pay $4 or $5 or more for a gallon of gasoline, I can agree with you. However, most people aren't." I'm willing to pay it, because I don't consume much, and this is a major point about the big picture. People won't pay $6/gallon and hence will be forced to live in a more efficient manner with good planning and mixed use. (Think of price as a control variable.)

"By the way ... did you drive to work today?" When I lived in Madison it was near the downtown just off campus. Much of what I needed was there. I could bicycle to many places. Often I could work from home. When I moved to Illinois I consciously looked for an apartment near the place I worked so I could walk or bicycle. Unfortunately, it happens that all access to grocery stores, etc. require an automobile or a daring person who will bicycle these poorly designed, high speed roads.

What is the allure of living in the suburbs other than keeping up with the Jones-es? The most characteristic feature of living here is the roar of Highway 53. Let me make this point. Cities can be a nice place to live if well designed to lessen traffic (and traffic noise). A bicycle will often do. Public transit (e.g., nice clean hybrid buses, light rail) can also play a part. Inherent in your question is the assumption that everyone must own one or two automobiles and live thirty miles from work. That doesn't need to be the case.

Anonymous said...

A good case for raising the gasoline tax a dollar or two a gallon. Until it really gets painful, people won't change their ways!

telemarketing said...

This has very little to do with the environment. Only stupid hippies would complain about that. They are not a high pollution company and never have been. They do not whip and never will. They also provide jobs for thousands of people an an area that as an average income of $26,000...which is a joke. Dan stop hugging trees and step into the real world. This is the best thing to happen to Superior in years.