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Environmental concerns

I'm reading about BP and the controversy (link requires registration) brewing over how much they pollute Lake Michigan. Their Whiting refinery in Indiana is going to start refining Canadian crude oil which requires more processing and therefore results in more waste product. This is not a good thing of course but the flip side is that if we don't start drawing on resources closer to home, our dependency on foreign goods is going to hurt us. This is particularly true with regards to our dependency on Middle Eastern oil. Whether you believe we are fighting in the Middle East for oil is not is really a moot point. I don't think we should rely so heavily on any other nation, friend or foe. If splitting some of the demand and doing business with our friendly Canadian neighbors results in a little more waste product, then I guess that is a worthwhile tradeoff.

It is a fact that regulators are allowing BP to release 54% more ammonia and 35& more sludge into Lake Michigan each day, still within federal regulations. An important fact in this argument is that it isn't really sludge as the sludge product is heavily treated and then discharged into the lake as 99% water. I know there will be people who dispute that fact but the refinery has been there for 117 years and the water in Lake Michigan is still pretty clean. This is the BP Refinery Fact Sheet that gives facts rather than scary hype. Frankly, I am more concerned about ocean vessels coming in, flushing their ballasts and bringing non-native mollusks who upset the ecosystem. Always something to worry about I suppose but in the case of BP, you have to give a little to get a little.