Monday, July 23, 2007

Last week an article ran in the Chicago Tribune about BP's expansion of their refinery. It seems to me that this article was a bit over focused on the increase of the plant's discharge, while ignoring the complete facts- not an uncommon thing in journalism among those trying to prove a point. I'm more used to seeing single minded journalism on the editorial pages though, and while yes, this post is sponsored by BP it's a disparity that I actually agree with. (Hey! Here's a wonderful thing. Agreeing with what I'm being sponsored to write!)

So let's look at this on a slighter larger level. The refinery's production is expanding enough to create 80 full time jobs after construction is completed. Better for the economy. During construction at it's peak: 2000 jobs. I've worked construction. Those jobs will be there a while. More production equals more gas, more jet fuel for the airlines, more energy for the total environment. While this country has been losing refinery capacity for quite some time, do we really think cutting back expansion is a good plan? Are not your pockets hurting every time you see the gas tank flicker on empty?

The detractors say, oh, but they're increasing the amount of discharge of ammonia into Lake Michigan! And other stuff! And it'll kill the environment! To which I feel the need to point out that they're not exceeding federal limits, they're not asking for special consideration and exceptions to be made. They're just going to be increasing the discharge proportionately to the increased capacity. Will you put your eye out to spite the economy? What's ultimately more importantly to us- is it a better future for the people living and working, is it worth losing the "cushion" provided by BP operating well beneath the federal guidelines?

You can find out more here: BP Whiting Refinery Facts

No comments: