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This article is about the county in which I live

and the impact that the Keystone XL pipeline will have on the county's residents, especially minorities and the poor.

Port Arthur Texas: American Sacrifice Zone

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory places Jefferson County among the very worst in the nation for air releases of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, and reproductive disorders. In a state that regularly records in excess of 2,500 toxic emissions events per year, Port Arthur is near the top of the list of offending cities. Data collected by the Texas Cancer Registry indicates that cancer rates among African Americans in Jefferson County are roughly 15 percent higher than they are for the average Texan. Shockingly, the mortality rate from cancer is more than 40 percent higher. And cancer is only part of the story. A study by the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston found that residents of Port Arthur were four times more likely than people just 100 miles upwind to report suffering from heart and respiratory conditions; nervous system and skin disorders; headaches and muscle aches; and ear, nose, and throat ailments.

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I've always known that our rates of cancer were way outside the norm and that it isn't generally a healthy place to live but I didn't know how unhealthy until I read this.

Unfortunately most people here either don't know about this or don't want to know. I am an environmentalist and often speak against the petroleum industry and for renewable sources. But to some people here I all they hear is "I HATE AMERICA"

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