- NEW YORK/HOUSTON (Reuters) – The largest U.S. oil refiners released tons of air pollutants into the skies over Texas this week, according to figures provided to the state, as one environmental crisis triggered another.
- Refiners and petrochemical plants along the U.S. Gulf Coast scrambled to shut production as an arctic air mass spread into a region unused to frigid temperatures. Shutdowns led to the refineries flaring, or burning and releasing gases, to prevent damage to their processing units. That flaring darkened the skies in eastern Texas with smoke visible for miles.
- “These emissions can dwarf the usual emissions of the refineries by orders of magnitude,” said Jane Williams, chair of the Sierra Club’s National Clean Air Team. She said U.S. regulators must change policies that allow “these massive emissions to occur with impunity.”
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