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Things that make you go “Hmm…”

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014

* From a June 18, 2003 Koch Pipeline Company press release

Koch Pipeline Company, L.P. (“Koch Pipeline”) announced today it will conduct Phase I of an open season for the Dakota Express Pipeline, a proposed pipeline to transport Bakken crude oil from western North Dakota to Hartford, Illinois and Patoka, Illinois. Koch Pipeline also intends to explore a connection at Patoka, Illinois, to the Eastern Gulf Crude Access Pipeline, which would be capable of delivering Bakken crude oil to eastern U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. Dakota Express Pipeline would begin service in 2016 with an expected initial capacity of approximately 250,000 barrels per day.

This project presents an opportunity for Koch Pipeline to meet the growing transportation needs required to support increased crude oil production in the Williston Basin. Koch Pipeline’s system is anticipated to provide a low-cost solution for shippers to access important crude oil demand centers.

* From a January 13th story in Progress Illinois

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the state’s plans to push for emergency administrative rules for the management of petroleum coke, or petcoke, a thick, powdery byproduct of oil refining that can pollute the air and water.

“We want to make sure that every neighborhood in the state of Illinois is protected from the hazard of petroleum coke,” Quinn said at a press conference Monday afternoon. […]

Quinn delivered the announcement from the outskirts of KCBX Terminals’ 90-acre property, at 3259 E. 100th St., on the Southeast Side of Chicago. The company, controlled by the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, temporarily stores petcoke along the Calumet River for a nearby BP refinery in Whiting, Ind. […]

“This particular neighborhood on the Southeast Side of Chicago has been hampered and hurt by this fugitive dust,” Quinn said. “It’s blown off of these mountains of petcoke, into the homes of good people who are trying to raise their children and make sure they’re healthy.”

* From a press release issued early this morning…

Ahead of Thursday’s “emergency action” being considered by Illinois Pollution Control Board against the storage and handling of petroleum coke, coal, and related bulk materials across the entire state, coalitions of job creators are refuting this potential action as detrimental to industries across Illinois affecting thousands of jobs and our state’s struggling economy. This action is being encouraged by Governor Quinn five months after an isolated incident where non-toxic petroleum coke dust blew over portions of the southeast side of Chicago during a windstorm; adding to the lack of rationale, the operator of that Chicago facility has since rectified the problem. The “emergency” being referenced is about politics, not good government.

    WHO: Mark Denzler, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association
    Tom Wolf, Illinois Chamber of Commerce
    Mark Biel, Chemical Industry Council of Illinois
    Jim Watson, Illinois Petroleum Council
    Phil Gonet, Illinois Coal Association

    WHAT: Media availability (via conference call)

    WHEN: Wednesday, January 22
    9:30 a.m.

* From a Bloomberg story this morning

Koch Pipeline Co. called off plans to build a 250,000-barrel-a-day crude line to Illinois from North Dakota’s Bakken formation, where a shale boom has helped lift domestic production to the highest in a quarter-century.

Quinn singled out the Metro East region as a petcoke problem area in his remarks to reporters the other day.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anon - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    This is why Pat Quinn will be re-elected over Bruce Rauner.

  2. - warhed - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    industry is dirty, so what? and if quinn is reelected over rauner, you can expect more exodus of people and business from this worst ranked state in so many areas that matter…wake up son…

  3. - John A. Logan - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Infuriating. No wonder Illinois is a laughing stock, and in the tank on so many economic indicators.

  4. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    So no pun intended had they started laying pipe yet?

  5. - Anon - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    It’s not good and effective government to draft rules without input from directly affected industries…that input can be rejected or accepted, but failing to even ask is willful ignorance. It demonstrates a mindset that is closed and hostile to job creators. It’s all about the media op.

  6. - Smoggie - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    If Team Koch only wants to come to Illinois if they can pollute, then we are better off without them.

    Let their environmental and health care problems be a burden on another state.

    This isn’t West Virginia. We may not have the “efficient” or “clean” government, but we are not going to sell out, or at least, we are not going to sell out just for a pipeline. Our price is way higher.

  7. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 11:44 am:


    Looking forward to you shutting down the refineries in Joliet and Lemont….

    Also just out of curiosity, does anyone think if this was the Jones Brothers it would have gotten the exact same response.

  8. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    I’m sure those in the self-described “coalition of job creators” all live next door to petcoke storage facilities.

    If you read the Bloomberg story, Koch was also considering expanding pipeline capacity to Gulf Coast refineries.

    They’re not doing that, either. Is that Quinn’s fault, too?

  9. - Josh at NRDC - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    Worth noting, this is the second major pipeline cancellation associated with the Bakken. I think it has a whole lot more to do with the preference for using rail, rather than wait on pipelines, in the Dakotas than anything associated with Illinois.

    Petcoke comes from all oil refining—but in much higher volumes from the heavy tar sands muck used in most of Illinois’ refineries (as well as BP’s controversial Whiting, IN refinery where the bulk of the stuff blighting Chicago’s SE Side is coming from). The state needs to be serious about how to handle this stuff as we are just beginning to see the increased petcoke production from area refineries that threatens to create problems elsewhere. And I think most Illinoisans would agree that giant mounds of dangerous waste should not be central to business development in the Land of Lincoln.

  10. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    I think the question is if the second round of Quinn action is in response to the pipeline getting canceled not the other way around..

    Seems the Kochs would rather make money than having Quinn look bad..

  11. - Smoggie - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    One Man,

    I don’t know if those places have the same problems that the one on referenced in the article seems to have.

    If they do, I sure hope the rules are the same for all of them.

    Do you have any evidence to the contrary? Because if so, you probably should tell the Gov. He’s indicated that he takes the problem seriously.

    And no, it would not have gotten the same response if it was the Jones Brothers.

    Most companies seem content to make a profit rather than run a business to score some political points.

    Koch seems to view the business as an arm of the political operation. That’s their option.

  12. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:16 pm:


    You can drive by most refineries, inhale and go

    ‘hmmm, I suspect there are things that are in the air here in amounts that I am not going to find in Lake Forest’

    Also for what it is worth, I grew up not far from where this is happening so sadly I am quite aware that is by far not the only environmental issue in that neck of the woods.

    So, I guess my follow up question is to this

    “And no, it would not have gotten the same response if it was the Jones Brothers.”

    Do we really want regulatory action by government to be dictated in any way shape or form by the political activities of the entities involved?

    I would say the answer to that is a big NO…

  13. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    Having lots of pollution has helped to grow NJ and Detroit; this just seems like good business. We could take in radiocative material and store it here to further increase our business friendly climent and our economy. Maybe start dumping in the chamapign aquifer, since nobody can see it anyway….

  14. - Smoggie - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    I admit I don’t often drive past refineries. You may be right. If so, next time you do so, call the EPA. That sounds pretty bad.

    I agree with your last line.

    Companies should focus on making a profit and not on politics.

    It is too bad that Koch decided to use the company for another purpose.

    Ultimately, this is really simple. Illinois does not need the burden of companies that come here and make people sick.

    Like I noted above, this isn’t West Virginia.

  15. - Cornerfield - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    Maybe Koch’s decision to forego building their pipeline has more to do with the fact that Enbridge beat them to it. They are currently building a 36″ pipeline from their Flanagan oil pipeline terminal (west of Pontiac) to Cushing, OK. It will increase their capacity to transport Canadian and Bakkan crude to gulf refineries by 600,000 bbl per day.

  16. - DuPage - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    The dust control regulations and the oil pipeline are not really related.
    Quinn and the GA should put a small per ton environmental fee on pet coke or any other similar product that is brought in from another state and dumped and stored here. Allow them to deduct cost of enclosures and other pollution controls that exceed the EPA regulations.

  17. - Cheswick - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    == industry is dirty, so what? and if quinn is reelected over rauner, you can expect more exodus of people and business from this worst ranked state… ==

    Maybe they can move to nine counties in West Virginia where more than half a million people can’t drink the water.

  18. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    I’ve seen a list/map showing all the ‘proposed’ pipelines/expansions current to 07.01.2013, and the industry expectation was that at least one-third of those projects were never going to start construction.

    No surprise.

    There’s another aspect to this decision, and that is there’s New Albany shale formations in the lower two-thirds of IL. Why spend money building pipeline extensions to bring ND shale oil crude to IL, when we have our own largely unexplored shale formations in our area.

    Why not wait and see?

  19. - Going nuclear - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 2:54 pm:

    The “job creators” forgot to mention that the air pollution regulations for storing petcoke at BP’s Whiting refinery are more stringent than the Illinois regulations. That’s one of the reasons the material is being shipped to sites on Chicago’s southeast side. Quinn and company are simply working to provide the same level of environmental protection for the people who will live near petcoke and other large bulk material storage sites in Illinois.

    The emergency rules are necessary to begin the process of addressing the immediate air pollution problem and make sure it doesn’t spread to other areas.

    It normally takes 1-2 years to go through a full blown environmental rulemaking process in Illinois. There will be ample opportunity for industry to participate in the development of the final rules, which will also consider economic impacts.

    If the industry groups have a beef, they should take it up with KCBX Terminals for not being a good environmental steward in the first place.

  20. - Bulldog58 - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 4:37 pm:

    Again with the standard big business scare tactic that thousands of jobs will be affected by Government enacting laws to protect its citizens. How about the thousands of lives their irresponsibility already effects?

  21. - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 4:51 pm:

    I don’t know if this matters but I’ve actually been to the KCBX site, twice. I didn’t see blowing dust on either occasion. That is not say that dust hasn’t blown off-site at other times. But, it is not an everyday event.

  22. - 1776 - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 8:26 pm:

    @going nuclear

    KCBX just purchased the facility in the last year and installed $10 million in new equipment to eliminate a problem from the previous operator. They are a good actor.

    Even the city of Chicago delayed action today on their petcoke proposal.

    Neither the EPA or AG can point to any other single violation related to petcoke in the last 10 years. Not quite an emergency requiring action in 7 days. After all, they waited six months after the sole problem.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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