Our Reality

Petrochemicals are a large and growing source of toxic pollution and emissions that threaten our climate progress, our health, and our environment.

Boarded up building, directly next to train tracks.School equipment and building directly adjacent to petrochemical storage and processing facilities.

A Toxic Presence in our daily lives

Petrochemicals are derived from fossil fuels like oil and gas. The oil and gas industry uses toxic manufacturing processes to turn fossil fuels into known carcinogens like benzene and vinyl chloride. These petrochemicals and many others have been shown to cause cancer and other health harms in humans.

Plastic is the most common product made from petrochemicals — with overwhelming amounts of plastic made for single-use purposes. Petrochemicals are also used to make a vast number of daily products, like household cleaners and personal care products.

Stopping the expansion

Amid the shift to clean, renewable energy, the oil and gas industry is betting big on petrochemicals, proposing over 112 new facilities.

Map Legend

Projects defeated to date
Proposed projects
Map of contiguous United States.Contiguous United States with proposed petrochemical facilities marked.
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Northumberland, PA

Encina Point Township Chemical Recycling
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Belmont, OH

PTT Global Chemical Ethylene Cracker Plant
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Monroe, OH

Mountaineer NGL Storage Facility
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Braxton, WV

Appalachian Storage Hub
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Grant, LA

TopChem Ammonia Plant
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Calcasieu, LA

Big Lake Fuels Methanol
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St. James, LA

South Louisiana Methanol
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Current Industry
Map of Alaska.Contiguous United States with proposed petrochemical facilities marked.

The Damage is real

At every stage — from oil and gas extraction to the final product — petrochemicals pollute our environment and put communities at risk.

Stage 1
Petrochemical processing facility swathed in billowing smoke.

Oil and Gas Extraction

Pollution from petrochemicals begins at extraction, when the oil and gas industry pumps fuel out of the ground for petrochemical manufacturing.

15% of total U.S. carbon budget

By 2050, petrochemical emissions will account for roughly 15% of the total U.S. carbon budget, making it impossible for the U.S. to limit global warming to 1.5°C.


600 coal-fired power plants

Recent research found that global pollution from plastic manufacturing is equal to 600 coal-fired power plants.


Global Carbon Pollution Tripled

Left unchecked, global carbon pollution from plastic production could triple by 2050.


10% of Global Carbon Emissions

Worldwide, petrochemicals and their products are responsible for 10% of carbon emissions.


Petrochemical Plants

For communities living in the shadow of petrochemical plants, pollution is a daily threat to health and well-being.

Sacrifice Zones

Petrochemical plants have turned entire communities into “sacrifice zones,” exposing households to toxic emissions and driving up rates of cancer, respiratory disease, and other life-threatening conditions.


Broken Promises

Despite promises of jobs for community members, the vast majority of petrochemical jobs do not go to communities of color.


Violating Air Permits

An examination of 50 plastics manufacturing plants found that 84% violated their air permits while receiving billions in tax subsidies and exemptions.


Stage 2
Family home with petrochemical processing facility right behind it.
Stage 3
Endless expanse of garbage, including lots of plastic waste.

Petrochemical Products

Many petrochemical products are unnecessary and wasteful, creating pollution that persists long after use.


We make more plastic than we could ever possibly need. Single-use packaging accounts for an estimated 40% of total plastic usage.


Inhaling Plastic

The average American breathes in and consumes about 16 bits of microplastics every hour. That’s roughly equal to a credit card each week.


Toxic Beauty Products

Petrochemicals like formaldehyde are found in beauty products, putting people who use them at higher risk of cancer.



Only 9% of all plastic has ever been recycled. After use, many plastic and petrochemical products arrive at landfills and may be burned, generating air pollution, health risks, and emissions.


Neighborhood with band of trees separating it from large expanse of petrochemical storage tanks. The ocean is just behind them.

Stop the