Koch Backed Mountain

15 Jun

detroit petcoke

There is a new ad out on our television screens. Paid for by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, it shows yet another canvas of wild flowers, grassy fields and big blue skies, with a soundtrack of soft tinkling music. That’s right, it’s another attempt to tell us how wonderful – and environmentally innocuous — are Alberta’s tar sands.

People in Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan, however, are seeing quite another picture. A mountain of  oil-sands detritus called pet coke is quickly rising in a vast lot near the Detroit River. It has been put there by the Koch brothers, nasty, right-wing billionaires who have until now limited their assault on common decency by throwing big bucks at the most ultra-conservative of Republican candidates, the kind who want to curtail our rights while enhancing those of corporations. (If ever there was a pair of walking examples of the Mexican saying, ‘Dios da pan a quien no tiene dientes’ — God gives bread to those without teeth — it’s these guys.)

Collected in a huge pile three storeys high, Koch Carbon has purchased and stockpiled this gross stuff in order to sell it to, get this, to Asian countries to burn as a cheaper alternative to already harmful coal!

“This is dirtier than the dirtiest fuel,” Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat who represents the area where the pet-coke mountain has been accumulating, told the Guardian. Yet, thanks to the oil sands, there is lots of it. With every barrel of oil sands crude producing between 60 and 130 pounds of this noxious, sulphurous waste, the province of Alberta already has more than 70 tons of pet coke lying around.

Meanwhile people in Windsor and Detroit are seeing the dust from this mountain of black waste blown into their homes by the wind, and it is more than likely that rain has washed plenty of it into the Detroit River and the entire Great Lakes system.

This is what happens when corporations, whether in the oil business or any of its offshoots, dump their garbage on our door steps. Maybe someone should make a television ad featuring the other side of our addiction to fossil fuels and over-dependence on this awful commodity. And instead of the soft, relaxing music, they might want to use the sound track from ‘Jaws.’

PS At least Hollywood has been taking a few  shots at the Koch brothers in this year’s comedy The Campaign, starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis — and with John Lithgow and Canada’s own Dan Ackroyd as the ‘Motch’ brothers.


One Response to “Koch Backed Mountain”


  1. The Global Kiosk is Back | Global Kiosk - April 21, 2015

    […] should know more about these two examples of the right-wing superrich and what they are doing and what they are capable of. They’ve control over a million acres of land in northern Alberta and staunch defenders of the […]

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