In September 2014, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel announced Beemsterboer Slag Corp. opted to sell its storage terminal in Chicago rather than continue to fight lawsuits and regulatory actions filed by city, state and federal officials. The Koch brothers also have a petroleum coke terminal in Chicago, KCBX Terminal, which is embroiled in pollution lawsuits with the Illinois EPA. William Koch, another brother who owns Oxbow Energy, tried to bring a coal terminal to Port Morrow near Boardman, Oregon, so he could export petroleum coke to China. This proposed coal terminal failed so William Koch has been looking for another port north of Long Beach, California. Petroleum coke is a petroleum refining byproduct used as fuel for power plants. It is dirtier than coal and has a lower energy return on investment. If a coal terminal were built at Cherry Point, I believe it is quite likely petroleum coke from the Koch tar sands in Alberta would be exported to China from this location. I believe this would be worse than Powder River coal from Wyoming – which is bad enough!
Gary Jensen, mayor of Ferndale, has been quite proactive in promoting the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point for the last four years. Contrast his support for a highly-polluting dangerous industry with the Mayor of Chicago’s fight to keep pollution out of Chicago. I believe it is quite a difference. And now Gary Jensen wants to be port commissioner.