“They’re proposing to put thousands of tons of a cancer-causing chemical into our air,” says former Mayor Bill White. “They say they’ll reduce the amount that they’re emitting. But the city can’t tell how much they’ll reduce the benzene emissions. We can’t tell how we can verify that they’ve been reduced. And we can’t tell whether there are technological changes that could further reduce the amount of benzene in our air.”
Other refineries, the city noted, manage to do similar jobs with less pollution. Why can’t LyondellBasell? Can’t we at least ask? And given that we know a lot more about benzene’s dangers than we did 10 years ago, when the refinery’s previous permit was approved, isn’t it time for a new round of questions?
The TCEQ, which like every other agency in this state is an extension of Rick Perry, is not interested in such things. It all makes sense once you realize that.