Western Refining in the Mexoplex

Did you see this story on KFOX, about a white powder coating cars, houses, and laundry around the Western Refinery?

Eventually, El Pasoans are going to notice that we have a petroleum refinery operating in the geographical center of the El Paso-Juarez Mexoplex.

Paul Foster probably wakes up in the middle of the night in cold sweats worrying about his refinery getting Asarcoed. After operating in that location since Oñate crossed the river, the refinery is probably a half a billion dollar brownfield site. But that’s not an issue as long as the refinery is still operating. Just speculating, but I’m thinking that the aquifer under the refinery is a pool of hydrocarbons, and when it eventually closes, whoever owns it last will be stuck with the bill for cleaning it up.

These days, every spill has to be reported, but that’s a fairly recent innovation. When the refinery was established, we weren’t that worried about science, or consequences. Remember, in the fifties, cigarettes were good for you. And if we had a petroleum refinery spewing byproducts into the atmosphere, we could just kick that can down the road.

Notice that the Western Refining PR machine was a little disingenuous, according to the report from KFOX. When asked about the white powder-coating the neighborhood got, the refinery’s response was “We didn’t spill any oil.”

(See the whole report on KFOX.com)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *