Shell’s $6 Billion ‘Cracker’ Plant Part of ‘Ponzi Scheme for Natural Gas,’ Critic Says • Children’s Health Defense

Along with those “environmental problems” — Shell’s plant, situated 25 miles from Pittsburgh, would emit 2.25 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, wiping out the gains in carbon reduction Pittsburgh planned to achieve by 2030 — critics of the project say it also comes with risks to human health.

Indeed, some community members expressed fear that a petrochemical boom will move Beaver County one step closer to becoming another “cancer alley” — the term environmentalists and industry wonks use to describe an 85-mile stretch of land along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, which is home to 150 petrochemical plants and refineries.

“People exposed to the emissions and pollution will get sick, because that’s what happens to people who live near petrochemical facilities like cracker plants!”

The plants, which use extreme heat to “crack” the molecular bonds in ethane to produce ethylene, “have the potential to emit large amounts of ethylene, propylene and other so-called ‘highly reactive volatile organic compounds.’ These are chemical compounds that can react quickly in sunlight to form ground-level ozone, or smog.”

Shell’s $6 Billion ‘Cracker’ Plant Part of ‘Ponzi Scheme for Natural Gas,’ Critic Says • Children’s Health Defense