As we move towards zero-emissions and 100% clean energy, the oil and gas industry is grasping at straws to protect its profits by betting big on petrochemicals: toxic chemicals made from oil and gas that are used to make plastics, industrial chemicals, and pesticides. We need to tell the Department of Energy not to spend taxpayer dollars that will boost Big Oil’s petrochemical boom.
In the U.S., the industry is planning a massive build-out of petrochemical plants. Many of these facilities are planned in low-income communities and communities of color already overburdened by pollution and a long history of environmental racism. If the build-out goes forward, it will lock in more climate pollution, plastic waste, and toxic chemicals that poison our communities.
For example, Formosa Plastics is planning a new petrochemical facility in the 5th District of St. James Parish in Louisiana — a predominantly Black community in an area that is known as Cancer Alley because of all the toxic infrastructure concentrated there and corresponding high rates of cancer. This facility will produce as much carbon as three million cars and triple the area’s already-elevated exposure to carcinogens all so that it can produce needless plastic waste. Residents of the parish are organizing to stop this terrible injustice, but they are fighting a well-resourced and powerful industry — which is why we need to act in solidarity.
The oil and chemical industries have helped create a status quo where pollution and health issues are concentrated in communities of color and low-income communities while profits and power are accumulated by companies who seek to further exploit people and the planet. We can reverse this. Tell the Department of Energy to follow through on President Biden’s all-of-government approach to tackling environmental and climate injustices and see to it that our tax money does not support this deadly industry.