Hurricane Harvey v. the fossil fuel industry

Image composite by J. Chiappone using map of refineries courtesy of Energy Information Administration and map of Hurricane Harvey predicted rainfall amounts courtesy of NOAA.

Image composite by J. Chiappone using map of refineries courtesy of Energy Information Administration and map of Hurricane Harvey rainfall predictions courtesy of NOAA.

 

In a few short hours, Hurricane Harvey is predicted to make landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency predicts this storm could rival Katrina in its devastation. While the citizens of Texas and Louisiana race to find safe shelter, layers of tragic irony are playing out before our eyes.

The intensity of Harvey is a harbinger of climate changes facing the world.

And Harvey is taking aim right at the greatest producers of greenhouse gases, the oil and gas industry.

Eight of the ten largest petroleum refineries in the country are located right in the heart of Harvey’s path of destruction. They are:

Saudi Aramco in Port Arthur, TX.

Exxon Mobile in Baytown, TX.

Marathon Petroleum in Garyville, LA.

Exxon Mobile in Baton Rouge, LA.

Marathon Petroleum in Galveston Bay, TX.

PVD in Lake Charles, LA.

Exxon Mobile in Beaumont, TX.

Valero in Port Arthur, TX.

These largest refineries in the nation are shuttered and offline for the duration of Harvey’s threat. What isn’t known is the damage these hubs of the fossil fuel industry will sustain.

Severe damage will cripple the nation’s energy supply for the foreseeable future.

If damage is minimal, the price of fossil fuel will skyrocket simply because of the break in the production.

Thus is our dependence on the industry that fuels climate change and makes hurricanes like Harvey more powerful.

On this, Mother Nature is pulling no punches. She’s making Herself abundantly clear.

“End the fossil fuel industry or I’ll end it for you.”

 

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