Category Archives: Benicia CA

Valero increased Canadian tar sands oil trains to and from Gulf Coast in 2018

Repost from S&P Global Platts
[Editor: You can be sure that if Benicia hadn’t succeeded in stopping Valero Crude By Rail in 2016, we would be seeing these monstrous oil trains every day now.  Many thanks to all who contributed to our David & Goliath effort!  NOTE: “USGC” in this story refers to the US Gulf Coast.  – R.S.]

Valero looks north to replace Venezuelan heavy crude

By Janet McGurty and Keiron Greenhalgh, 31 Jan 2019, 22:04 UTC

New York — Valero Energy increased the volume of heavy Canadian crude processed in its refining system in the fourth quarter of 2018, including crude arriving by rail, a trend that is likely to continue as recent sanctions cut into shipments from Venezuela.

Valero CEO Joe Gorder said the company needs to replace Venezuelan crude at two of its US Gulf Coast refineries – the 215,000 b/d St. Charles facility in eastern Louisiana and the 335,000 b/d Port Arthur, Texas, complex.

Valero’s systemwide heavy crude throughput was 445,000 b/d in Q4 out of 3.0 million b/d overall. About 20% of that was from Venezuela, Gorder said on the Q4 results call.

Valero imported about 50,000 b/d of heavy Canadian crude in October for its USGC system, compared with 126,000 b/d of Venezuelan crude, US Energy Information Administration data showed.

“We did 43,000 b/d of heavy Canadian by rail in Port Arthur [in Q4] and those were very discounted barrels,” said Gorder. Continue reading Valero increased Canadian tar sands oil trains to and from Gulf Coast in 2018

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    Important Benicia City Council meeting this Tuesday Nov. 20

    By Roger Straw, Monday, November 19, 2018
    [Editor:  Highly recommended: Mayor Patterson’s Air monitors and public health – Council agenda for Tuesday.  Also, see Kathy Kerridge’s  invitation to this meeting.  – R.S.]

    Valero and City staff report on air monitor progress required by ISO denial

    You may want to attend the Benicia City Council meeting this Tuesday evening, November 20, or watch it on Benicia TV.

    Last June, City Council chose NOT to review a draft Industrial Safety Ordinance (ISO) prepared by a local citizen activist Working Group.  However, the presentation and discussion at Council that night highlighted a unanimous concern that Benicia needs better air quality monitors and better communication between Valero refinery and the City.

    At the end of the Council’s discussion last June, Council members Campbell and Schwartzman demanded that Valero install certain air monitors and undertake improved communications with the City in six months, OR ELSE.  Or else, that  is, they would vote in favor of an ISO to better protect the interests of the City.

    Well, the six months has passed, and this Tuesday City Council will hear reports and discuss progress made – or not made.  As always, public comments, written or spoken, are welcome.  (See “Where to write…”)

    IMPORTANT PREPARATION MATERIALS: see the Nov. 20 staff report and attachments here, beginning on p. 6 of the agenda.

    City Council will meet at 7 pm on Tuesday November 20 in chambers at City Hall, 250 East L Street.  The meeting will be broadcast live on your tv at home on Comcast channel 27 or AT&T U-Verse channel 99 or via live streaming on your computer at Benicia TV, https://www.ci.benicia.ca.us/btv.

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      Benicia City Council interviewing candidates to replace City Attorney Heather McLaughlin

      Repost from the Vallejo Times-Herald

      Benicia council to interview law firms on Wednesday

      By JOHN GLIDDEN, November 13, 2018 at 4:38 pm
      Heather Mc Laughlin, Benicia City Attorney

      BENICIA » The City Council will meet in a special closed session on Wednesday to interview several law firms that have applied to provide city attorney services.

      Benicia City Attorney Heather Mc Laughlin confirmed Tuesday that five firms responded to a request for proposals (RFP) the city released in September.

      She declined to provide the names of the firms — citing applicant privacy.

      The City Council voted 4-0 during its Sept. 4 meeting to release the RFP after Mc Laughlin announced she will be retiring as city attorney at the end of March 2019. Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson was absent from that meeting.

      Mc Laughlin said Tuesday that the selected law firm will provide an individual to serve as city attorney but the person will not be a city employee. Mc Laughlin, who was hired in 1997, is a city employee.

      The city attorney serves as chief legal counsel for the city, representing the City Council, city manager, and city staff.Responsibilities include attending all council meetings and advising the council regarding matters on the agenda. The person will also attend Open Government Commission, and Planning Commission meetings.

      Additional services include keeping the council informed about all legislation or judicial opinions which could impact the city, recommending policies, interpreting the Benicia Municipal Code and prosecuting misdemeanor and ordinance infractions, among other duties.

      It’s not known yet how much the new attorney services will cost the city, however, Mc Laughlin currently receives an annual base salary of $207,106.

      Councilors are expected to award the new legal services agreement on Nov. 29 with a March 1, 2019 start date.

      The general public will have a chance to address the council prior to the closed session portion of the meeting.

      The special Benicia City Council meeting begins at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, and will be held inside the Benicia Community Center, Room 2, located at 370 L St.

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