When John wrote about the Great Lakes being drained for Oklahoma cotton, Las Vegas lawns and the Alberta oil sands, we commented that the oil sands had little to do with the Great Lakes. We were wrong; BP is planning to expand its huge 107 year old oil refinery in Indiana to refine the thick and gooey oil from the tar sands, creating an employment boom of 80 jobs, and dumping 54 percent more ammonia and 35 percent more sludge into Lake Michigan each day than it currently does as one of the biggest polluters on Lake Michigan.
They plan to create a "mixing zone" where they dilute the waste with water under the old "dilution is the solution to pollution" mantra, even though that is banned under Indiana law. The state justifies the exemption by saying that the project will create more jobs and "increase the diversity and security of oil supplies to the Midwestern United States." A rarely invoked state law trumps anti-pollution rules if a company offers "important social or economic benefits."