Just one day after the election, Flint Hills Resources announces the closing of their Odessa plant. Katie Stavinoha of FHR says it would cost too much to make it “competitive in a global environment.”
Is there any coincidence in the timing? Let’s consider one of the words Katie used, “environment.” O.K. I know it’s a stretch and taken out of context.
Here’s a quick history lesson. FHR bought the plant from Huntsman Corp. in 2007. Before that, Huntsman had it for ten years.
Soon after their purchase, Huntsman burned off almost 100,000 pounds of chemical including hundreds of pounds of suspected carcinogens. People got sick and about 4,000 came together in 2001 to sue. Huntsman settled out of court for more than $3 million. And because this happened to the mostly minority resident of Odessa’s south side, it was labeled “environmental racism.”
In the 2000 presidential race, Joe Lieberman stopped by and used the plant as an example of Bush’s lax environmental policies.
FHR is owned by Koch Industries, Inc. and Koch has a questionable relationship with the environment and the government.
So is it a coincident that Koch would choose to lose this environmental burden, the day after the nation elects a Democrat as president.
I don’t know. I do know, the closing means about 400 more people will be looking for work in January.