News reports about Keystone XL often mention that, if approved, the proposed tar sands oil pipeline would carry dirty Canadian crude from northern Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Sometimes they even mention the name of the town where those refineries are located: Port Arthur, Texas.
But Port Arthur is far more than just a name on the map. As Ted Genoways reported for OnEarth last year (in a story that was awarded the prestigious James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism), it is home to a low-income, largely African-American community surrounded by smoke-belching oil refineries and chemical plants, where noxious odors mix freely with the salt-tinged air. It’s also home to some of the highest cancer rates and pollution-related health problems in the country.
In this compelling new video by Reports from the Edge, Port Arthur community activist Hilton Kelley (one of the main subjects of Genoways’s story) describes how his community’s health and well-being have been sacrificed for the nation’s oil needs—a problem that will only get worse if KXL is built.
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