In Whiting, Indiana, and across the Midwest, old refineries are being expanded to process the crude oil expected from Canada's tar sands. Citizens near BP's century-old refinery in Whiting are concerned that it will harm their health.
"Steve Kozel was 7 in August 1955 when the Standard Oil refinery near his family’s Whiting, Ind., home was badly damaged by a huge explosion and fire. His father, who worked at the nearby Sinclair oil refinery, had been planning to buy a house in Whiting. “My mother said no way,” Mr. Kozel said, and they moved farther away.
Now BP, the British oil giant, owns the century-old Standard refinery, the largest inland oil refinery in the United States. And Mr. Kozel, who still lives in northwest Indiana and is president of a citizens group called the Calumet Project, still worries that it will harm his health. He and other residents of the area are especially concerned now that the refinery is undergoing a large expansion to process more Canadian tar sands oil by 2013.
Across the Midwest, refineries like BP are expanding to process the tar sands oil — heavy, gooey oil mixed with sand in vast deposits that will be shipped via pipeline from Alberta. Tar sands oil is expected to be a staple of this country’s energy future."