yudith nietoIf you want to get a sense of what the Keystone XL pipeline would do to Gulf Coast communities (and which communities will bear the brunt of refining 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil a day), look no further than Manchester, a neighborhood in Houston’s East End.

juan parras“We are part of America. We are a major city in America, but we do not need to be the sacrifice zone for the nation,” states Houston resident Juan Parras (pictured).

Parras joins a growing contingent of Houston residents concerned about the overburdening of minority and low-income communities in the area with the ill effects of energy production.

Lax regulations on chemicals put everyone at risk.
A fast-moving, "out of control" fire erupted at the Magnablend Chemical Company in Waxahachie, Texas, this afternoon. The fire has forced the evacuation of at least one elementary school in this Dallas suburb, and the nearby Navarro College, according to news reports.  Residents have been advised to stay indoors to avoid dangerous gasses.

The Manchester neighborhood in Houston is completely surrounded by Valero, Texas Recycling, a car crushing facility, the Port of Houston, Highway 610, a rail yard and a waste water treatment plant.  These are two aerial photos of the Manchester community that my dad, Juan Parras, took a few years ago.  The area in green is of course Manchester.  The third image is a shot of the Houston Ship Channel.

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