Marathon Petroleum wants to expand capacity at its Detroit refinery and is prepared to spend $1 billion to do it. The project would create 135 permanent jobs in the city of Detroit (which desperately needs them) along with 1,200 temporary construction jobs. However, refinery expansions generally have a very unfortunate side effect in the form of increased pollution.
Not wanting to go through the same public outcry that BP faced when they asked for a permit to increase pollution from their Indiana refinery recently, Marathon has committed to holding the line on emissions from their expansion. Of the money earmarked for the expansion they plan to spend $260 million on new pollution control equipment. The company says they will maintain emissions at only forty to fifty percent of what they are currently allowed.

It seems that oil companies are finally starting to plow some of those windfall profits of the past couple years back into their infrastructure. Unfortunately it comes at a time when we really need to be looking beyond fossil fuels and into something else entirely.

[Source: Detroit News]

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