Nacero plant would endanger residents' health, property values and quality of life

Unlike previously published articles, The Citizens’ Voice published a more critical view of the plans for the $6 billion dollar gasoline refinery in Newport Twp., which stated, “A closer examination of Houston-based Nacero Inc.’s plans reveals the environmental benefits are not as simple or clear-cut as portrayed in the glowing news releases issued by the company and local legislators in October” (“Is this gas greener?” Dec. 19).


To simply answer the title’s question, no, unfortunately, Nacero’s gas would not really be greener. In reality, it will inevitably add toxicity to the environment that will negatively impact the health of the community, especially those who already struggle with chronic health issues. In a broader perspective, it will add to the dangers that climate change poses.


The more than 500 annual tons of nitrogen oxides that the Nacero refinery is allowed to emit would be associated with a two-fold risk of asthma with allergic rhinitis in children nearby who breathe air with greater than 20 parts per billion of nitrogen oxides. The greater than 600 tons of volatile organic compounds and other hazardous air pollutants produced yearly by the Nacero refinery are likely to be associated with more cancers in adults who live within 30 miles of the refinery.

Scientists are clear that climate change is widespread, rapid, intensifying and that strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases would limit climate change. We know that at least 70% of Pennsylvanians acknowledge climate change and over 80% of Americans wish that more research and tax incentives were focused on renewable energy sources.


Scientists are clear that climate change is widespread, rapid, intensifying and that strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases would limit climate change. We know that at least 70% of Pennsylvanians acknowledge climate change and over 80% of Americans wish that more research and tax incentives were focused on renewable energy sources.


Although we wish we had a simple solution, we cannot let Nacero gaslight us into believing that their untested, for-profit process — which relies heavily on extracted methane gas for their refinery — is going to produce a truly renewable energy source. In truth, the refinery would produce toxic air pollutants and its end product will also generate carbon dioxide and likely struggle to compete with market demands for electric vehicles and lower emission standards.


The only thing that is truly getting recycled here is the promise from the fossil fuel industry playbook that jobs for local residents will be plentiful and having a refinery in a rural community is going to be great for the local economy despite historical evidence to the contrary. If the refinery in Luzerne County is similar to the one Nacero proposed in Texas, it would be a major source of toxic air pollution and greenhouse gases that exacerbate climate change and if the refinery is like the cracker plant in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, its blight on the aesthetic appeal of living in Luzerne County could result in a decreased population and a depressed economy.


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