Biofuels and hydrogen proposed at Bay Area refineries – may not be as green as they sound
The Richmond City Council held a study session in late October called “Refinery Transition Briefing.” (Video below.) Senior attorney Ann Alexander from Natural Resources Defense Council and staff researcher Dan Sakaguchi with Communities for a Better Environment examined Chevron’s recent announcement to convert at least a portion of their Richmond refinery to biofuel and hydrogen production. They also discussed the biofuel conversion plans of neighboring refineries in Rodeo, Phillips 66, and Martinez, the already shuttered Marathon refinery.
The study session explained why biofuels and hydrogen may not be as green as they sound, especially when produced at large, aging refineries that are desperate to extend the life and profits of their facilities as the need for fossil fuels ramps down in California.
Why should Benicians care? Three out of the five Bay Area refineries are in the process of converting to biofuel production and Valero’s corporate leadership out of San Antonio is on the record saying the company is “going all in on carbon capture projects and renewable diesel, a fuel produced from animal fats and waste products, such as used cooking oils.” (Houston Chronicle, May 26, 2021)
ALERT AND INVITATION… There aren’t enough french fries and soybeans in the world to feed all of our large Bay Area refineries. And in some cases, the production of hydrogen and biofuels can even increase greenhouse gas emissions. Give this study session a listen to go beyond the greenwashing hype of the fossil fuel industry.
|VIDEO: Refinery Transition Briefing
Dan Sakaguchi, CBE, and Ann Alexander, NRDC
Richmond City Council, 26 Oct 2021
- Earth Island Journal, California Refinery’s Switch to Biofuels Not as Green As it Sounds
- PDF slides on Refinery Transition – shown at Richmond Council meeting Oct. 26, 2021 – staff researcher Dan Sakaguchi with Communities for a Better Environment and senior attorney Ann Alexander from Natural Resources Defense Council
- Joint scoping letter on P66 Rodeo EIR, to Contra Costa Department of Conservation and Development 2021-01-27
- Joint scoping letter on Martinez Refinery EIR and Project Descriptions, to Contra Costa Department of Conservation and Development 2021-03-22