Environmentalists And Workers Should Unite

On October 19, 2015 · 0 Comments

eawIn Whiting, Indiana, 1,650 people depend on the Amoco oil refinery for their livelihood. The future is tenuous for those hanging on to well-paying jobs in this industrial region. Another local refinery has already closed its doors, and the once-mighty steel industry is down from 20,000 workers to fewer than 8,000.

“Twenty years ago if you lost your job, you could just walk down the street and find another one,” says Bob Lofton, a board member of Local 7-1 of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers, who works at the refinery. “Today it’s tough.”

While Lofton and his co-workers see Amoco as their lifeline, many local environmentalists view the refinery with suspicion. Fires and explosions are not uncommon. The groundwater has been contaminated from oil leaks. And Amoco routinely discharges high levels of chlorides that end up in Lake Michigan, as well as toxic metals such as selenium, arsenic and lead. “This can’t be good for the water or for the animals and people,” says Doreen Carey, executive director of the Grand Calumet Task Force, a grassroots …

Under Environment | Taged , , ,
Recent Comments