Category Archives: Chevron Refinery

Local and Ecuador leaders protest at Chevron in Richmond

Press Release from AmazonWatch

Bay Area environmental and indigenous organizations join protest to call attention to Chevron’s key role in causing destruction to people and planet

MAY 17, 2018, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tell Amazon.com to Protect the Real Amazon!
AMAZON WATCH

Richmond, CA – Indigenous leaders from the Ecuadorian Amazon joined Bay Area allies at Chevron’s Richmond Refinery on Thursday morning to call on California’s political leadership to phase out oil and gas production and processing in the state, including its importation of crude oil drilled in the Amazon rainforest.


For more information contact:
Moira Birss 1.510.394.2041 moira@amazonwatch.org
Zoë Cina-Sklar 1.510.671.1878 zoe@amazonwatch.org
Interviews, photos, and more information available upon request


Gloria Ushigua and Manari Ushigua, leaders of the Sapara people, called attention to the impacts that the fossil fuel economy – including Chevron’s key role in causing destruction to people and planet. In addition to Chevron’s toxic legacy in Ecuador, the Sapara leaders and allies from Communities for a Better Environment, Green Action, and Bay Area indigenous-led organization Idle No More SF Bay outlined how California’s oil and gas extraction and processing is harming communities from the Ecuadorian Amazon to Richmond, California.

The Sapara Nation of the Ecuadorian Amazon is recognized by UNESCO as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” because their language and culture are in danger of disappearing. There are about 500 Sapara people still living in their ancestral home, a large territory that is a critical part of the Amazonian ecosystem. However, Sapara territory – and the Sapara themselves – are in serious danger from oil drilling planned for two oil blocks that overlap with approximately 500,000 acres of their ancestral territory.

Chevron refineries throughout California are the largest purchasers and processors of crude oil imported from the Amazon rainforest, as well as one of the state’s biggest overall polluters. A 2017 Amazon Watch report demonstrated that half of crude oil exports from the Western Amazon come to California, adding to the toxic impact of the California’s fossil fuel production and refining industry.

Manari Ushigua Santi, Sapara Nation, said: “The possibility of oil drilling in our territory – something the Ecuadorian government is pushing – could be the end of the Sapara people, and certainly an end to our strong connection with the forest. After all, there are few of us, and we have seen the deforestation and cultural destruction already caused by oil drilling in other parts of the Amazon. Now that we know about the link between oil from the Amazon and California refineries, we know that the state government’s continued support of the oil industry also puts us and other peoples of the Amazon in danger.

Gloria Ushigua Santi, Sapara Nation, said: “We are all fighting for our survival, to protect our little pieces of land. I have seen how destructive the fossil fuel industry is for California’s own communities. I don’t want our land to become polluted, like this land by the refinery. We call on California’s leadership to move quickly from an unsustainable reliance on a fossil fuel economy to a sustainable one based on renewable energy. Anything less puts the Sapara, the Amazon and other Amazonian indigenous peoples, California communities, and our entire global climate in danger.”

Isabella Zizi, Idle No More SF Bay, said: “It’s important to be here today because it shows that the very resistance starts in our own backyards. It makes a direct connection to what is happening down in the Ecuadorian Amazon with our indigenous brothers and sisters and our relatives down there who are facing the same destruction and harms to their own people and that we can come together and unite and make change together and stand up to Big Oil.”

Andrés Soto, Communities for a Better Environment, said: “I’m here today representing Communities for a Better Environment with our ongoing solidarity with Amazon Watch and the advocacy that connects the extractive activities in Ecuador directly to the refining activities in Richmond and the commonalities of not only health impacts but also political corruption. We need to link our resistance because we’re dealing with transnational corporations and so we also need to have a transnational resistance.”

Leila Salazar-López, Amazon Watch Executive Director, said: “Continued oil and gas extraction in California – both on land and offshore – and its imports of Amazon crude is a significant obstacle to doing what science says must be done to prevent the worst outcomes from climate change: keeping fossil fuels in the ground.”

    California attorney general subpoenas oil refiners

    Repost from SFGate
    [Editor:  See also coverage in Bloomberg, Reuters, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.  – RS]

    California attorney general subpoenas refiners on gas prices

    Associated Press, Updated 2:57 pm, Friday, July 1, 2016

    The California attorney general has issued subpoenas to several oil refiners to learn how they set gasoline prices, which are consistently higher in California than in most other states.

    Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Valero Energy Corp. and Tesoro Corp. confirmed on Thursday that they have received subpoenas in recent weeks.

    The attorney general is making a sweeping request for information about gasoline supplies, pricing, and maintenance shutdowns that can temporarily create shortages and increase prices, according to people familiar with the investigation. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of the subpoenas.

    The requests came from Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Democrat who is running for the U.S. Senate. Kristin Ford, a spokeswoman for Harris, declined to comment on whether her office was investigating.

    Chevron spokesman Braden Reddall said the company received a subpoena from the attorney general’s office and would cooperate with the investigation.

    Valero received a subpoena “and we will respond accordingly,” said spokeswoman Lillian Riojas.

    Spokesmen for Exxon and Tesoro also confirmed the requests for information. None of the companies would discuss the matter further.

    California perennially has among the nation’s highest prices for gasoline. This week, the average for a gallon of regular was $2.90 in the state compared with the national average of $2.29, according to the AAA auto club.

    Some consumer advocates have charged that refiners drive prices higher by tactics such as frequent or overly long plant shutdowns.
    Refineries are routinely taken offline for maintenance, and there have been longer-lasting outages after disasters such as the explosion in February 2015 at an Exxon refinery in Torrance, near Los Angeles.

    Gordon Schremp, senior fuels specialist with the California Energy Commission, said 2015 saw an “extraordinary price spike in magnitude and duration in California,” which a commission advisory committee has been investigating.

    “We are aware that they were doing this,” Schremp said of the attorney general’s investigation, “because off and on they’ve talked to us about what was going on with the 2015 market, important factors that can cause spikes in the markets.”

    Industry officials blame high prices on California’s stricter clean-air requirements, which they say add costs and make it more difficult to import gasoline from other states when there is a price spike.
    Rebecca Adler, a spokeswoman for the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, called the allegations in the subpoenas baseless.

    “We are confident that nothing will come of this,” she said.

    The group Consumer Watchdog has repeatedly called on Harris to investigate oil companies over California gas prices and welcomed news of the investigation.

    “It’s great that we have a law enforcement official asking questions about both supplying the market and equitable pricing within the market,” said the group’s president, Jamie Court.

      AP: Exxon, Chevron Shareholders Reject Climate Resolutions

      Repost from ABC News

      Exxon, Chevron Shareholders Reject Climate Resolutions

      By DAVID KOENIG, AP BUSINESS WRITER, DALLAS — May 25, 2016, 4:17 PM ET

      Shareholders at Exxon Mobil and Chevron rejected resolutions backed by environmentalists that would have pushed the companies to take stronger stands in favor of limiting climate change.

      Environmentalists took solace, however, that some of their ideas gained considerable support.

      At Chevron Corp., a resolution asking for an annual report each year on how climate-change policies will affect the company received 41 percent of the vote. A similar resolution at Exxon got 38 percent.

      Also, Exxon Mobil Corp. shareholders voted to ask directors to adopt a proxy-access rule, which would make it easier for shareholders to propose their own board candidates. Backers including the New York City comptroller said it could result in the election of independent directors who could help the company address risks like climate change.

      The meetings Wednesday — Exxon’s in Dallas, Chevron’s in San Ramon, California — came as the companies are trying to dig out from the collapse in crude prices that began in mid-2014. Exxon earned $16.15 billion last year, its smallest profit since 2002. Chevron’s annual profit plunged 76 percent to $4.59 billion and included the company’s first money-losing quarter since 2002.

      Crude prices have rebounded since February, boosting the shares of the top two U.S. oil companies, but they remain about half of what they were at their last peak.

      Exxon is also dealing with investigations by officials in several states into what the company knew and allegedly didn’t disclose about oil’s role in climate change.

      The company’s shareholders rejected resolutions to put a climate expert on the board and support the goal of a UN meeting in Paris last year to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

      Patricia Daley, a Dominican sister from New Jersey and sponsor of one of the resolutions, said Exxon lacked “moral leadership.”

      “Our company has chosen to disregard the consensus of the scientific community, the will of the 195 nations that signed the Paris agreement,” religious leaders and even other oil companies, Daley said.

      Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said his company has long recognized that climate change is a serious risk and might require action. But, he said, any policies should be implemented evenly across the world, allow market prices to pick solutions, and be flexible enough to respond to economic ups and downs and “breakthroughs in climate science.”

      Exxon forecasts that oil and gas will make up 60 percent of the world’s energy supply in 2040 — about the same share it holds today. Its CEO said the company was balancing the need to produce more energy for growing world demand with environmental considerations.

      Tillerson said there is no alternative source that can replace the ubiquity of fossil fuels. He expressed confidence that technology will provide the key to limiting carbon emissions.

      “We’ve got to have some technological breakthroughs,” he said, “but until we achieve those, to just say turn the taps off is not acceptable to humanity,” he said.

      The shareholders responded with robust applause.

      Across the street from the meeting hall, about 60 protesters gathered and urged large shareholders such as pension funds to divest their shares. Many held signs with slogans such as “Exxon Liar Liar Earth on Fire.” The mood was sedate, however, perhaps owing to the warm, muggy weather.

      Exxon shares rose 59 cents to $90.26, and Chevron shares gained $1.60 to $101.79.

      ———

      This story has been corrected to note that the climate-change resolution won 38 percent support, instead of a maximum of 25 percent support.