Flint Hills Resources

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Flint Hills Resources' Pine Bend Refinery in Minnesota Flint Hills Resources, a Kansas petrochemical company, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries that:

  • "Markets products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, ethanol, olefins, polymers and intermediate chemicals as well as base oils and asphalt"[1]
  • Operates crude oil refineries in Alaska, Minnesota, and Texas[2]
  • Operates ethanol plants in Iowa[3][4]
  • Operates petrochemical plants in Illinois, Michigan and Texas[5]
  • Operates fuel terminals in Texas, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota[6]
  • Produces asphalt in Minnesota and Iowa[7][8]
  • Markets, transports and stores crude oil in Alberta, Canada, where it is "among Canada’s largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters,"[9] and
  • "Has made strategic investments in several biofuel projects."[10] "Flint Hills Resources recently closed on an equity investment in Benefuel, Inc., a company that has developed a technology that could dramatically improve the cost effectiveness of biodiesel production." Jeremy Bezdek, managing director of innovation for Flint Hills Resources, said, “As part of our agreement with Benefuel, the company will build and operate an integrated pilot plant to prove its innovative process.”[11]

According to its website, "the company, based in Wichita, Kan., has expanded its operations through capital projects and acquisitions worth more than $5.3 billion since 2002."[12]

Koch Wiki

The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

Controversies

Political activities

Lobbying

In Spring of 2011, Flint Hills Resources set up shop to lobby in Canada. "Alberta's lobbyist registry shows that on March 15, Koch Industries signed up to lobby the province on energy and resource development policy issues, as well as taxation and economic development.... [S]ubsidiary Flint Hills Resources is among Canada's largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters."[13]

Campaign funding

Previous to the registration of Koch lobbyists in Alberta, leaders of the Alberta Federation of Labor (AFL), which "represents 140,000 workers," "condemned the passage of an anti-union bill in the Wisconsin Senate - and issued a warning to right-wing politicians in Alberta.... The Tea Party's biggest funders, the billionaire Koch brothers, have significant business links in Alberta. They are responsible for receiving and handling about 25 per cent of the oil sands crude sent to the U.S. and they own Calgary-based Flint Hills Resources Canada." AFL president Gil McGowan said, "Don't expect these guys to stay out of our politics. In fact, they may already be funding the Wildrose Alliance and Tory leadership candidates. We can't know for sure because both parties refuse to reveal their donors. Albertans should demand to know who is funding campaigns and candidates here."[14]

Climate denial and delay

In September 2010, Flint Hills Resources donated $1 million to the campaign to pass Proposition 23, the Suspend AB 32 (2010) California ballot initiative that would have halted the state's global warming law if passed. According to the No Prop 23 campaign, 97 percent of the $8.2 million raised by the Yes forces was given by oil-related interests and 89 percent of that money came from out of state. Three companies, Koch Industries, Tesoro, and Valero -- another Texas-based oil company -- provided 80 percent of those funds.[15]

Environmental record

In February 2011, Flint Hills Resources' East Plant in Corpus Christi, TX "flared for about 36 minutes... after a valve positioning failed.... The [plant] released more than 1,300 pounds of sulfur dioxide and had 100 percent opacity during the event, according to a report it filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The valve positioner, which regulates lube oil flow to the wet gas compressor, failed causing the compressor to shutdown due to low lube oil pressure."[16]

A 2009 report by Environment Minnesota lists Flint Hills Resources as one of the top 20 water polluters in Minnesota for discharges of reproductive toxicants to waterways, based on 2007 EPA Toxics Release Inventory data.[17]

Tar Sands

A February 2010 SolveClimate News analysis, based on publicly available records, found that Koch Industries is responsible for close to 25 percent of the oil tar sands crude that is imported into the United States, and is positioned to benefit from increasing Canadian oil imports. A Koch Industries operation in Calgary, Alberta, called Flint Hills Resources Canada LP, supplies about 250,000 barrels of tar sands oil a day to an oil refinery in Minnesota, also owned by the Koch brothers. Flint Hills Resources Canada also operates a crude oil terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, the starting point of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. The company's website says it is "among Canada's largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters." Koch Industries also owns Koch Exploration Canada, L.P., an oil sands-focused exploration company also based in Calgary that acquires, develops and trades petroleum properties.[18]

Contact

  • P.O. Box 2917

Wichita, Kansas 67201

  • 4111 East 37th Street N.

Wichita, Kansas 67220

  • Office Phone: (316) 828-3477
  • Website: http://www.fhr.com/default.aspx
  • Email: jake.reint@fhr.com (Jake Reint, Director, Public Affairs, St. Paul, MN)
  • katie.stavinoha@fhr.com (Katie Stavinoha, Media contact, The Woodlands, TX)

Articles and resources

References

  1. Flint Hills Resources Canada Facts, company publication, October 2010
  2. Flint Hills Resources About, company website, accessed May 6, 2011
  3. Ibid.
  4. John Aloysius Farrell Newt Gingrich faces questions about consulting job and support for biofuels, Huffingon Post, April 25, 2011
  5. Flint Hills Resources About, company website, accessed May 6, 2011
  6. Flint Hills Resources Contacts & Locations, company website, accessed May 6, 2011
  7. Flint HIlls Resources Asphalt, company website, accessed May 6, 2011
  8. Flint Hills plans to open office in Ames IA, Bulk Transporter, April 12, 2011
  9. Flint Hills Resources Canada Facts, company publication, October 2010
  10. Flint Hills Resources About, company website, accessed May 6, 2011
  11. Flint Hills Resources Invests In Benefuel, Inc., American Fuels, February 9, 2011
  12. Ibid.
  13. Karen Kleiss Tea Party backers register to lobby in Alberta, Calgary Herald, March 24, 2011
  14. Gil McGowan Alberta unions condemn Wisconsin decision to strip collective bargaining rights from workers Alberta Federation of Labor Press Release, March 10, 2011
  15. Todd Woody, "Koch brothers jump into Prop 23 fight" Grist, September 3, 2010.
  16. Fanny S. Chirinos Valve positioning failure causes release at Flint Hills, Corpus Christi Caller, February 24, 2011
  17. Tony Dutzik, Piper Crowell & John Rumpler Wasting Our Waterways: Toxic Industrial Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act, Environment Minnesota Research & Policy Center report, Fall 2009
  18. "Koch Brothers Positioned To Be Big Winners If Keystone XL Pipeline Is Approved" SolveClimate News, Feb. 10, 2011.

Related SourceWatch articles

External articles