Michigan’s only oil refinery is in the middle of a $2 billion dollar expansion project. Marathon Petroleum is expanding its refinery in southwest Detroit to process more heavy crude oil from Canada.
That expansion project is moving the footprint of Marathon’s refinery closer to people’s homes, especially the Oakwood Heights neighborhood in Southwest Detroit. A couple weeks ago, the company made a big announcement. Marathon is offering to buy about 350 homes in Oakwood Heights. The company is offering a minimum of $40,000 dollars plus half of what the home appraises for. There’s also money to help people relocate.
“We think it’s a very generous program. We think the neighborhood is going to be very happy with it.”
Tracy Case is with Marathon. He says the company is planning to demolish the homes it buys and create about a hundred acres of green space next to its refinery.
“You know, I think if you asked anybody in industry, or if you asked anybody that lives next to industry, they’d say yeah, that’s a good thing to have, to have the green space.”
He says the program is voluntary and no one will be forced to move.