Petroleum, Refineries, and the Future

The (In)visible Violence of Petroleum Refineries

Photo by Kenueone. Taken 5 August 2016. Creative Commons License 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Available at


The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines environmental justice as, “The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies” (United States). The government’s own definition of environmental justice is being broken across America, especially in the 150-mile stretch along the Gulf Coast called “Cancer Alley” which contains numerous petroleum refineries; however, “Cancer Alley” has also become the epicenter of the environmental justice movement (Huber 69). As someone who has lived in South Dakota my whole life, the environmental injustice petroleum refineries cause was a new concept to me. Even if the injustice of petroleum refineries doesn't affect me directly, as a citizen, it is my duty to stand up for those less represented. Because the refineries are poisoning the neighborhoods in which they are placed, society needs to shift the conversation to renewable energy options instead of oil infrastructure.

In the following Scalar pages, I will address petroleum refineries as a causation of environmental injustice, discuss the environmental justice movement as a history, argue the negative effects the current administration poses to environmental justice, and insight solutions in terms of renewable energy. 

Works Cited

This page has paths:

Contents of this path: