Workers in Marshall, Michigan are still cleaning up an oil spill from last summer.
Green energy is often said to be the future of the Midwest economy. But old fashioned fossil fuels could be having a bigger effect on the region’s jobs and corporate bottom lines.
This is not conventional oil, though. It’s a thick, tar-like crude from the oil sands in Alberta, Canada. It’s sent here by pipelines, many which cross our rivers and the Great Lakes, and that has some worrying about a bigger risk to the region.
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For blue collar workers, the recession has been more like a depression. (I reported on these sobering numbers last year.) That’s why so many construction workers welcome all the jobs oil refinery expansions are creating in the Midwest. The boon in the Canadian oil sands is creating jobs here. And, while my story this week spends a lot of time talking about the potential environmental and health risks of this industry, there is no doubt how much having work means to these construction workers. After the jump, some of the voices and images from a job call at an electrical union hall in Detroit.