The Environmental and Health Implications of Petcoke Energy Production
South Texas Studies, Vol. 18, pp. 34-48, 2007
21 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2012
Date Written: 2007
Due to recent proposals to construct and operate petroleum coke-based energy-generating plants in Victoria, at Point Comfort and throughout the State of Texas, residents of South Texas have become concerned about the potential for environmental and health impacts from air and water pollution generated by these plants. This paper examines the issues associated with integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology and the use of petroleum coke as fuel at electricity production facilities, reports on the search for evidence of impacts in communities surrounding existing IGCC plants, and applies the results to provide a picture of the implications of these proposals. Geographical and temporal scale issues, however, indicate that the greater concern ought to probably be placed on the long-term and global impacts of new commitments to fossil-fuel energy production in this age of global climate change. This paper concludes with a discussion of the ethical and intellectual debates that ought to determine social acceptability of future energy production in South Texas.
Keywords: petroleum coke, gasification, carbon sequestration, climate change, ethics
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