The Sierra Club is protesting the refinement of what some are calling “poison tar sands” at oil plants in Detroit and six other states.
Environmentalists says a company in Alberta, Canada separates crude oil from the sand, and now wants to install a pipeline to the U.S. The company is seeking approval to send up to 900,000 barrels a day for refinement to places like Marathon Oil in Detroit.
Rachele Huennekens, a Sierra Club spokeswoman claims the emission from the refinement could be harmful to humans.
“When they burn it and process it in their oil refineries, it’s going to release heavy metals, sulfur, carcinogens, neurotoxins and other particulate pollution into the hair that’s very harmful to human health,” Huennekens.
But, according to Huennekens, health isn’t the only factor.
“This is definitely about economics. We think the time is now for Michigan and the rest of the country to transfer to clean energy, and that’s going to create hundreds of new jobs,” she said.
Because the separation takes place in Canada, approval for the pipeline will have to come from the U.S. State Department.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)