Published on July 19th, 2007 | by Noelle dEstries

BP plays solar with one hand while dumping chemicals into Lake Michigan with the other

lake-pollution.jpgBP (British Petroleum) is so great, they are expanding their solar plant in Maryland. What a green and responsible company!

But wait, what’s this? They want to dump more ammonia and industrial sludge into Lake Michigan!?!

Oh yeah, that’s right- BP sucks.

WHITING, Ind., July 14 (UPI) — An enormous BP oil refinery in Indiana is planning to pour significantly more ammonia and industrial sludge into Lake Michigan, it was reported.

The move by the British Petroleum oil refinery of Whiting, Ind., runs counter to years of efforts to clean up the U.S. Great Lakes, The Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

State regulators exempted BP from environmental laws to pave the way for a $3.8 billion expansion to let BP refine heavier Canadian crude oil. Regulators justified the move, in part, by noting the project will create 80 new jobs.

BP, which aggressively markets itself as environmentally friendly, already is one of the largest polluters along the Great Lakes.

Under the new state water permit, BP can release 54 percent more ammonia and 35 percent more sludge into Lake Michigan every day. Ammonia promotes algae blooms that can kill fish and the sludge is dense with heavy metals, the newspaper reported.

It’s good to know that all you need to do to dump more pollution in the Great Lakes is create 80 jobs. 80 frickin’ jobs! WTF…

Here’s another great post from Gristmill on the whole stupid thing.

congresspeople from the area are asking the EPA why they allowed this, including a Republican Congressman who said, “In my book, BP, which tries to market itself as an environmentally friendly company, now stands for ‘Bad Pollution.'”

Chicago city officials are exploring legal options and will meet with BP officials, who are gearing up a PR counter campaign. The Chicago Parks Commission will be soliciting petition signatures in the popular lakeshore region this weekend.

What I’m wondering is, why has BP been dumping 21 million gallons of waste in Lake Michigan even before this? Why is there a huge refinery near Chicago? The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago recently opened an exhibit about “The City of the Future,” and a team from the University of Illinois put together a presentation claiming that as we move deeper into the 21st century, fresh water will become more and more important. The Great Lakes will be one of our greatest resources, and currently hold 90 percent of North America’s surface fresh water and 20 percent of the entire planet’s.

Isn’t water more important than gasoline?

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