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One Planet: How Saudi Arabia became a major player in the US plastics industry

The Gulf Coast Growth Ventures petrochemicals plant in San Patricio County, Texas
The Gulf Coast Growth Ventures petrochemicals plant in San Patricio County, Texas

On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series, we discuss a major petrochemical venture between chemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corporation and Exxon Mobil. Last year, they created a joint venture called the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures manufacturing facility in San Patricio County, Texas.

The complex produces materials used in packaging, agriculture, film, construction materials, clothing, and automotive coolants. The plant is reported to be the largest ethane steam cracker in the world. What are the environmental and health risks for the communities living near these plants?


Mark Schapiro, investigative journalist specializing in the environment, lecturer at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and author of Seeds of Resistance: The Fight to Save Our Food Supply

Web Resources:

Public Health Watch: As Alarm Over Plastic Grows, Saudis Ramp Up Production in the US

The Guardian: Plastic in the Depths: how pollution took over our oceans

New Scientist: Chemicals from plastic bag pollution could unbalance ecology of lakes

Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.