US exporting dirty fuel to already pollution-choked India

NEW DELHI

NEW DELHI (AP) — The U.S. is shipping vast quantities of an oil-refining byproduct around the world because few American companies want it.

Energy-hungry India is the biggest importer of petroleum coke from the U.S. The bottom-of-the-barrel leftover from refining Canadian tar sands crude and other heavy oil is cheaper and burns hotter than coal. But it also contains more planet-warming carbon and far more heart- and lung-damaging sulfur.

The Associated Press has found that almost a fourth of all the fuel-grade “petcoke” from the U.S. went to India last year where it’s burned in factories and plants.

Petcoke advocates say it’s an important fuel and using it is recycling. Health and environmental officials say it’s contributing to dangerous air pollution in India, which already has some of the world’s most polluted cities.

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