Category Archives: Local Regulation

Important Benicia meeting – Goal-setting needs YOUR voice!

March 25, 2019 – Notice from the City of Benicia

Benicia City Council Special Goal-Setting Meeting
has been scheduled for
March 29 & 30, 2019.

You may view the full agenda for Friday,
March 29 HERE.
You may view the full agenda for Saturday,
March 30 HERE.

The City Council Meeting will be held
Friday, March 29, 2019
at 12:00 PM
and Saturday, March 30, 2019
at 9:00 AM
City of Benicia Library, Dona Benicia Room
150 East “L” Street
Benicia, CA 94510

 

Share...

    Bakersfield oil train projects declared dead by county supervisors

    Repost from Bakersfield.com

    County supervisors declare end to moot oil project approved in 2014

    BY JOHN COX, Jan 22, 2019
    oiltrain
    One hundred tanker cars formed a mile-long train waiting to be unloaded in this 2014 file photo at the Bakersfield Crude Terminal near Taft. The train carried about 70,000 barrels of oil, or about 3 million gallons. The facility was designed to handle two such trains per day. A similar oil-train terminal was approved in 2014 for the former Big West refinery on Rosedale Highway but never built. JOHN COX / The Californian

    A pair of controversial oil projects killed years ago by poor market conditions was finally declared dead last week by the Kern County Board of Supervisors.

    The projects, valued at $170 million, were supposed to transform the former Big West refinery on Rosedale Highway, in one case by turning it into a rail terminal that was supposed to take in two mile-long trains, or 150,000 barrels, per day of crude from across the continent. The related project would have upgraded the 67,000-barrel-per-day refinery, which has not operated since 2012.

    After the board voted unanimously to approve the project Sept. 9, 2014, the plan came under legal attack by environmental groups that considered it polluting and dangerous. Prior to the vote there was a series of rail accidents in which trains carrying oil from North Dakota derailed and exploded, in one case killing nearly four dozen people in Canada. The Bakersfield project wasn’t limited to receiving only oil from North Dakota, which was considered uniquely volatile.

    The environmentalists ultimately prevailed in court and, as part of a settlement released Sept. 19, a judge ordered the board to rescind its approval of the projects. Supervisors did so Tuesday by signing off on a consent-agenda list that included the oil projects.

    Refining industry observers have said the projects likely would not have proceeded anyway. When oil prices plummeted in 2014, there was no longer enough operating margin — and apparently still isn’t — to cover the cost of transporting huge amounts of oil across the country. Separately, the company that proposed the project, Houston-based Alon USA, now part of Delek US Holdings Inc., headquartered in Tennessee, opted not to move forward with a broader overhaul of the refinery.

    Environmental groups said the projects’ official end ensures local residents won’t be harmed by refining emissions or oil-train explosions.

    “Families throughout Kern County can breathe easier knowing that this ill-conceived, extremely dangerous project has been stopped,” Angela Johnson Meszaros, an attorney with the environmental group Earthjustice, said in a news release.

    Share...

      KQED: Big Oil, Small Town: Valero’s Election Influence in Benicia’s Politics

      Repost from KQED NEWS Public Radio
      [Editor: This  is a GREAT audio report.  Only 12 minutes – well worth the time!  – R.S.]

      Big Oil, Small Town: Valero’s Election Influence in Benicia’s Politics

      12 min – Ted Goldberg & Devin Katayama, Jan 14, 2019
      The Valero refinery in Benicia. (Craig Miller/KQED)

      Valero spent $200,000 in last year’s Benicia city council election to help elect two candidates who were less critical of the company than others. That’s created tension between the oil refiner and the city, leading people to question how much influence Valero should have in local politics. On Tuesday Benicia will discuss the possibility of new campaign finance laws that could limit corporate influence in its small town.

      For the audio interview, go to kqed.org/news/11717774/big-oil-small-town-valeros-election-influence-in-benicias-politics

      Guest: Ted Goldberg, KQED News Editor

      Share...