Kinder Morgan: Pollution, Lawbreaking, and Cover-ups


April 6, 2012

Kinder Morgan's Myrtle Grove coal export facility in Louisiana

A newreportfrom the Sightline Institute about energy conglomerateKinder Morganreveals the company’s track record of pollution, lawbreaking, and cover-ups. As Eric de Placewrites, the company’s troubling history is especially concerning for residents of the Pacific Northwest, as Kinder Morgan is among the companies seeking to developmassive new projects toexport US coal to Asia through Oregon and Washington:

In January, Kinder Morgana giant energy conglomerateannounced plans to use an Oregon port on the Columbia River to export 30 million tons of coal annually to China and other Asian markets. Many in the Northwest worry about the health risks, pollution, and economic risks that are entailed by the plans. Already tribes and environmental organizations are raising serious concernsabout handling large volumes of coal on the Columbia.

One part of the report focuses on Kinder Morgan’s Myrtle Grove facility in Louisiana, and the coal dust from thatcoal exportterminalpolluting the Mississippi river – even visible fromsatellitephotos.I saw this facility up close when Greenpeace’s ship passed by on our way up river to New Orleans in 2010, andwroteabout it and the other fossil fuel infrastructure that scars the Mississippi Delta. It was disturbing and striking to witness so much coal – at the time the facility could store over 1 million tons. The Myrtle Grove export terminal will be even bigger soon – the company last yearannounceda deal with Massey Energy, the notorious coal mining company and a major destroyer of Appalachian Mountains, to expand the facility and ship six million tons of coal each year. (Alpha purchased Massey Energy last year).

Barges are loaded with coal at Kinder Morgan's Myrtle Grove export facility

There are many more details about Kinder Morgan’s pollution and other misdeeds in the Sightline Institutereportthat I’ll cover in future posts. More photos of the company’s polluting coal export facility in Louisiana are availablehere.


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