3 EXXON REFINERIES TOP LIST OF US POLLUTERS
Exxon Mobil's US oil refineries pump out far more lung-damaging soot than similarly-sized facilities operated by rivals, according to regulatory documents and a Reuters analysis of pollution test results, Tim McLaughlin reported for Reuters.
The Texas-based firm's three largest refineries - two in Texas and one in Louisiana - are the nation's top three emitters of small particulate matter, according to the analysis of the latest tests submitted to regulators by the nation's 10 largest refineries.
The three Exxon refineries together averaged emissions of 80 pounds per hour, eight times the average rate of the seven other refineries on the top 10 list, some of which are larger than Exxon's plants, the analysis shows.
The top polluter, Exxon's Baton Rouge refinery, averaged 138 pounds per hour.
The performance reflects the firm's inadequate spending to cut emissions, said Wilma Subra, a Louisiana-based scientist who formerly served on the Environmental Protection Agency's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
"Exxon has all the resources in the world to lower its pollution rates dramatically," she said. The company has taken heat for years for its environmental performance. This week, Exxon lost at least two seats on its board of directors to an activist hedge fund seeking to force the firm to reckon with climate change.
Exxon said in a statement that it tries to comply with environmental laws and has invested billions of dollars to reduce emissions over the last two decades.