Category Archives: Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson

Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson comments on Valero decision not to sue

By Roger Straw, December 23, 2016

Benicia Mayor on Valero’s decision not to sue

In an email sent yesterday, Benicia’s recently re-elected Mayor Elizabeth Patterson offered the following statement on Valero Energy Corporation’s reversal of its plan to take the City to court:

Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson

Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson

I am pleased that Valero called to say that they would not sue on the crude by rail project in order to maintain good community relations. They are a valuable business in our community.

I look forward to the promise of those good community relations now that we can put this ill advised project behind us.

There are many opportunities for us to work together such as the locations and operations of the local air monitoring that the BAAQMD [Bay Area Air Quality Management District] will be implementing.

We share Valero’s concerns of new residential development on the so-called Seeno site to avoid conflicts.

And lastly I look forward to Valero’s continued proactive participation on our Community Sustainability Commission.

Elizabeth Patterson
Mayor, City of Benicia

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VALLEJO TIMES-HERALD: Valero won’t sue city of Benicia over rejection of crude-by-rail project

Repost from the Vallejo Times-Herald

Valero won’t sue city of Benicia over rejection of crude-by-rail project

By Katy St. Clair, 12/22/16, 4:06 PM PST

BENICIA >> The Valero Corporation announced it will not be suing the city of Benicia for rejecting its controversial crude-by-rail project, which would have allowed the company to transport thousands of gallons of crude oil into town.

The project would have moved up to 70,000 barrels of crude a day to Benicia, passing through places like downtown Sacramento and Davis.

Valero first submitted an application for the project to the city of Benicia in December of 2012, but the Planning Commission rejected the bid in March of this year. Valero then appealed to the Benicia City Council, which also rejected the plan in a unanimous vote in September, citing fears of derailment or spills as its main concern.

“The margin of error was just too small and the risk of catastrophic failure too great,” Councilman Tom Campbell said.

In the wake of the city’s veto, Valero seemed primed to fight the decision in court. Benicia City Attorney Heather Mc Laughlin told the city council on Tuesday night that she had previously “heard word” from the Valero attorney that they were “thinking of filing suit.”

It’s been reported that Valero officials believed Benicia’s rejection of the plan was illegal.

It now appears that Valero is backing off talk of litigation. Mc Laughlin announced that Valero’s attorney contacted her and said they will not be going forward with a lawsuit, after all.

“It’s like the best Christmas present ever,” she said to the council. “Yesterday they called and said that they were not going to file suit against the city because they want to maintain positive relations with the city.”

Valero did not respond to requests for comment.

Mayor Elizabeth Patterson released a statement Wednesday saying she is “pleased” with Valero’s decision not to sue.

“They are a valuable business in our community,” she said. “I look forward to the promise of those good community relations now that we can put this ill-advised project behind us.”

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ROGER STRAW – Election recommendations

Benicia Independent Endorsements

By Roger Straw, November 4, 2016

hillary_clintonAs I prepare to head to the polls on Tuesday, my decisions have finally been made. Not all were difficult to make: it’s of historic importance that we NOT elect Donald Trump. I will be voting for our first woman president, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

kamala_harrisMy vote for Kamala Harris for Senate is a no-brainer: as California Attorney General, Harris was our highest-ranking ally in the David and Goliath battle against oil trains here in Benicia! (With many thanks to Deputy AG Scott Lichtig.)

Mariko Yamada State Senate 2016Mariko Yamada will need every one of our votes if she is to beat the money-machine of her opponent, Bill Dodd. Dodd only recently became a Democrat, has accepted huge donations, and benefited from independent expenditures by big corporate interests, including the oil and gas industries.  I’ve known Mariko for years – she is to be trusted.  I once told her I’d vote for her for President of the U.S.!

monica-brown-229mike_ioakimedes_solanocountysupervisorAt the Solano County Supervisor level, it gets a bit hairy for me.  I respect, know and like both Mike Ioakimedes and Monica Brown.  I share progressive Democratic values with both of them. Earlier, I endorsed Mike when he weighed in against Valero’s crude by rail proposal. As an influential longtime Benicia leader, his added voice was highly significant at that time when we were facing into a final City Council vote on crude by rail. Monica strongly opposed Valero’s proposal, too, but when I’m forced to mark my ballot, I’ve decided I’ll vote for Mike Ioakimedes. Sorry, Monica.

elizabethpattersonBenicia Planning Commissioner Steve Young, candidate for Benicia City CouncilMy focus has been almost exclusively on local Benicia races. I am actively supporting Mayor Elizabeth Patterson’s re-election, and Planning Commissioner Steve Young for City Council. I like several of the other candidates for City Council, but I’m focusing entirely on electing Steve. Here are my previous posts on Elizabeth and Steve:

Unlike THE DONALD and many of his right-wing cohorts, you and I will accept the outcome of a fair and impartial election and join forces with our newly elected leaders, working for a better future. See you on the other side of election day!

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