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Last year in Detroit, a Marathon Petroleum refinery emitted a pungent gas, causing nausea and dizziness among neighbors and prompting health officials to warn people to stay inside. A “flare failure” at the plant had released hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, and other compounds, Marathon told state regulators, but the plant operator “did not detect any emission levels of concern” as a result. That same county has seen more Covid-19 deaths than most other than in New York state. In Michigan, The Times reports that “African-Americans have accounted for more than 40 percent of deaths, even though they make up only 15 percent of the population.” Clean water and affordable electricity are also a huge problem in Detroit, according to Michelle Martinez, the Statewide Coordinator for Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition.
Ironically, in Harris County (Houston) they are cranking out masks and gloves and the other protective gear now, but then the used PPE is coming back to the same place for incineration as medical waste. Minority groups have accounted for about two-thirds of early Covid-19 deaths in the city, despite making up only 22 percent of the population. “Hospitals need the masks, the gloves,” Yvette Arellano, a community organizer in Houston’s polluted neighborhoods told The Times, but ironically, minority communities that are the most hard-hit by COVID “are breathing in the toxins that industry says is necessary for the safety of other people.”
GM unveiled big plans at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show for electric vehicles — driverless “shuttle” vans and even – imagine this – flying cars. CEO Mary Barra, the keynote speaker, unveiled a new company logo and highlighted innovative new vehicles. The company has created a new unit called BrightDrop that will sell its EV600 […]
This year two “EVs” repeatedly made headlines — environmental voters and electric vehicles. When we look back in 2035, by which time we should have converted completely to renewable energy, 2020 could be seen as the year when the auto industry fully committed to the transition to electric vehicles and trucks.
E&E reports in an in-depth piece on Tuscaloosa, chronic illness and exposure to air pollution are exacerbating the spiking COVID rates and increasing the risks for people living in neighborhoods just outside the boundaries of industrial plants and refineries across the country.
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