Investigation portrays fossil fuel industry as common enemy in struggle for racial and environmental justice in America
Big corporations accused of driving environmental and health inequalities in black and brown communities through toxic and climate-changing pollution are also funding powerful police groups in major US cities, according to a new investigation.
Chevron, a multinational oil and gas company, that is among the world’s top 25 polluters. In the US, it owns two of the worst six benzene-emitting refineries, according to the EPA. Chevron is a corporate sponsor of the New Orleans police and justice foundation, as well as a board member of the Houston police foundation and sponsor of the Houston mounted patrol. It also donates and serves on the board of Salt Lake City police foundation.
Shell is one of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world, and is currently building a huge ethane cracker plant near Pittsburgh, which advocates warn could turn Appalachia into the next so-called Cancer Alley – a corridor of Louisiana refineries, where Shell is also a major polluter. Shell is a “featured partner” of the New Orleans police foundation and a sponsor of the Houston police’s mounted patrol.
The nation’s largest oil refining company Marathon Petroleum has long been accused of generating pollution that disproportionately affects the health of black and brown communities. Its refinery in Detroit has received 15 violations from the state environmental regulator since 2013. Marathon’s security coordinator is on the board of the Detroit police foundation, and sponsors numerous events.
This report sheds a harsh light on the ways police violence and systemic racism intersect with the climate crisis