Durbin, Kelly unveil bill to regulate tar-sands refining, study pet-coke byproduct
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Dist. 2) said late last week that they are co-sponsoring legislation to address the concerns of petroleum coke, or pet coke, on a national level by seeking federal environmental safety regulations on refining tar sands, of which pet coke is a byproduct.
The Petroleum Coke Transparency and Public Health Act of 2015 would require for the first time a federal study into the health and environmental impact from pet coke. The bill also would require federal safety rules for the storage and transportation of pet coke based on the study.
“As the U.S. refines more and more tar sands, pet coke is becoming a problem for many people – none of whom deserve to breathe dirty air or live near potentially hazardous materials,” Durbin said. “I commend the community for standing up and fighting the corporations storing pet coke next to their homes and (Chicago) Mayor (Rahm) Emanuel for taking decisive action to put standards in place that protect public and environmental health. While we’ve made great progress in limiting and containing pet coke on Chicago’s southeast side, the substance is not going away."