We’ve mentioned the pile of pet coke on the Detroit River here before, but short version: A company owned by the Koch brothers (yes, this rhyming gets a little strange) is storing large piles of petroleum coke — a byproduct of oil sands refining — on the banks of the river here. It’s a dirty fuel, bound for countries where dirty fuels aren’t a problem.
A couple weeks ago, a local journalist wrote a column about it in the Wall Street Journal, boiling down to, what’s the problems? Jobs! And if you squinted and cocked your head, you could see it that way. If you were inclined to put stock in passages like this:
In fact, Detroit Bulk Storage has handled the material to the letter of state and federal regulation. To minimize dust, the pet coke is treated with an epoxy at the Marathon site before being transported in covered trucks to Detroit Bulk Storage. There, a water truck routinely wets down the material before it is loaded on barges.
And then a thunderstorm happened. And this happened. Click the link; there’s a video.
“We had a ship in to load some of the inventory,” said Daniel Cherrin, spokesman for Detroit Bulk Storage. “When loading the inventory they have to break the seal of epoxy (a spray used to hold down dust) to load the vessel. On that day there was a storm and wind that moved in. It carried some of that into the air as a result.
“You could say it was a perfect storm where they were loading the vessel (with petcoke) and it broke away into the wind. That’s what people saw.”
The stuff was only here for a few weeks, and the perfect storm hit, sending a cloud of dust all over Windsor. Sorry, Canada!
Guys, I’m having my midweek slump. I should give you a dog picture. Wendy loves Alan:
Now you know the truth: We own a recliner.