Remember that huge pile of petcoke — the extremely dirty tarsands byproduct that is burned similarly to coal — that’s currently parked on the banks of the Detroit River? In one year, Keystone XL would produce enough petcoke to fill the Great Pyramid of Giza. Over its projected lifetime, KXL would produce enough petcoke to fill 80 Empire State buildings. Share the great infographic and blog below, written by David Turnbull and cross-posted from Oil Change International.


Piling up Keystone XL’s Petcoke

David Turnbull

In the President’s recent speech on climate change, he said “our national interest will be served only if [Keystone XL] does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

There are many reasons that the Keystone XL pipeline will clearly exacerbate the problem of climate pollution…but one that is often overlooked (at our peril) is the problem of petroleum coke (aka “petcoke”). Petcoke is a refining byproduct of tar sands oil, and when burned is substantially dirtier than coal and contributes significantly to greenhouse gas pollution.

Read below to see just how significant Keystone XL’s petcoke problem would be…with enough petcoke to add emissions equivalent to 3.5 million additional cars each year, the question of whether Keystone XL’s climate impact is “significant” becomes an easy one to answer.