Category Archives: Marine transport

Bay Area refineries want to do what?

Repost from a STAND.earth email
From: Matt Krogh, Extreme Oil Director, STAND.earth 
Sent: Monday, April 2, 2018 8:00 AM

Phillips 66 wants more tar sands tankers in the Bay

Dear …

We love San Francisco Bay just like you do, so when Big Oil comes up with yet another project that threatens our air and our water, we know it’s time to act. Next Monday April 9th, Bay Area refinery regulators will be meeting to discuss next steps on permitting expanded tar sands refining in the Bay–and now is your chance to let them know how you feel.

Phillips 66 and other Bay Area refineries are working hard to find new ways to access cheap, dirty tar sands crudes from Alberta–that’s why they’ve pushed for oil train offloading facilities, and that’s why they’re now trying to bring in a vast increase in tar sands tankers. But California’s regulators can say no to more tar sand projects in the Bay.

TAKE ACTION NOW

Increasing tar sands production is bad for Indigenous communities at the source in Alberta; transporting it threatens devastating oil spills in the waters of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California; and refining it means more air, water, and climate pollution right here in San Francisco Bay. The life cycle of tar sands production is destructive to our health and the safety of our communities.

Please join us and sign the petition to encourage California’s regulators to say no to more tar sands.

Right now, people like you all around the Bay are working to reduce our dependence on oil and build the clean energy economy. More, dirtier crude just isn’t what the Bay needs. 

Big Oil first proposed bringing tar sands by oil trains–and together we beat them back in Pittsburg, San Luis Obispo, and Benicia. With your support, we can continue the momentum and beat Big Oil once again, this time by keeping more tar sands tankers out of San Francisco Bay.

Help pile on the pressure and tell California regulators to reject Phillips 66’s tar sands expansion proposal, and to stand with us against any new tar sands projects that threaten our water and air.

In solidarity,

Matt Krogh
Extreme Oil Director


Stand challenges corporations, industries, and governments to prioritize the well-being of people, our environment, and our climate by creating long-term, effective solutions. None of this work is possible without your support.

    Phillips 66 Seeks to Increase Number of Oil Tankers on San Francisco Bay

    Repost from Earth Island Journal

    Proposal could pose risk to local communities and wildlife

    A version of this story originally appeared on the Baykeeper website.

    The oil company Phillips 66 wants to increase the number of tanker ships carrying crude oil across San Francisco Bay to its refinery in Rodeo — from 59 to 135 tankers per year. They have also proposed increasing the average amount of oil unloaded at Rodeo from 51,000 barrels to 130,000 barrels a day.

    oil tanker in san francisco bay
    Photo by Jill/Blue Moonbeam StudioAn oil tanker crosses under the Golden Gate Bridge. Phillips 66 has submitted a proposal to increase the number of oil takers that can carry oil to its bay-side refinery by more than two-fold.

    More than doubling the number of oil tankers would increase the risk of oil spills in the Bay. Oil spilled in the water can kill birds and other wildlife, make the Bay unsafe for recreation, and contaminate local beaches.

    Plus, the company’s proposal raises other concerns. The increased tanker traffic would likely carry dirty, heavy tar sands oil from Canada. This type of oil is difficult, if not impossible, to remove after a spill.

    In 2010, when tar sands oil spilled into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, response crews were unable to completely remove the oil from the riverbed, even after five years of expensive cleanup efforts. If tar sands oil spilled in San Francisco Bay, it could harm wildlife in the water nearby and smother bottom-dwelling creatures that are critical to the Bay’s food chain.

    The Phillips 66 refinery already has a poor track record of oil spills. In September 2016, oil was spilled there during the unloading of a tanker ship, causing large oil slicks in the northern San Francisco Bay. Over 100 residents near the refinery sought treatment at hospital emergency rooms for exposure to fumes that were later linked to the oil spill.

    And then again, in September of this year, a small spill at the Phillips 66 refinery wharf left a 20 foot by 20 foot oil sheen on the Bay’s water. The impacts of small spills like this can accumulate and harm the overall health and resilience of the Bay and its wildlife.

    Phillips’ needs a modified permit from the Bay Area Air Quality District to proceed with the expansion, and the district is beginning work on an environmental impact report for the proposal. Following that process, the board of directors will vote on whether to proceed.

    In communities near the refinery, public opposition to Phillips’ expansion proposal is building. Baykeeper, a nonprofit advocating for the health of the Bay ecosystem, is working alongside community and environmental organizations to oppose any increase of oil tankers on San Francisco Bay. So far, over 24,000 Bay Area residents have responded to action alerts and told responsible agencies to reject the proposal.

    A similar coalition effort succeeded in stopping two previous proposals for expansion of Bay Area oil refining. Along with partner organizations and many concerned community members, Baykeeper stopped Valero Energy Corporation’s attempt to expand its rail yard and bring more oil by train to its Benicia refinery. That proposal would have led to a risk of oil spills and possible accidents along the Bay shoreline and in communities near railroad tracks. Our coalition also stopped a planned crude oil storage facility that was proposed by the energy infrastructure corporation WesPac for Pittsburg.

    Whether we live close to or far from a refinery, every Bay Area resident has a stake in the number of tankers carrying crude oil across the Bay. Our communities and many local businesses rely on a healthy Bay. And for wildlife that depends on the Bay, it’s a matter of life and death. By saying no to the risk of more oil spills on San Francisco Bay, we can make sure this place we call home is protected for future generations.

      Vancouver oil terminal hearings wrap up, decision expected late 2016

      Repost from Hood River News

      Gorge leaders oppose Vancouver oil terminal as hearings wrap up

      By Patrick Mulvihill, August 5, 2016
      ERIC STRID, of White Salmon, speaks out against an oil terminal proposed in Vancouver. Hearings before the state energy council wrapped up this week, marking a tonal shift as opponents and proponents await the council’s decision, expected in late 2016.
      ERIC STRID, of White Salmon, speaks out against an oil terminal proposed in Vancouver. Hearings before the state energy council wrapped up this week, marking a tonal shift as opponents and proponents await the council’s decision, expected in late 2016. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Columbia Gorge

      Gorge leaders spoke out against a proposed oil-by-marine terminal in Vancouver as hearings over the project’s fate came to a close July 29.

      Washington State’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) heard closing arguments for an environmental review of the terminal proposed by Vancouver Energy, a venture spearheaded by Tesoro Corp.

      EFSEC is charged with recommending whether Washington Gov. Jay Inslee should approve or reject the 360,000-barrel per day oil hub at the Port of Vancouver, and panel’s decision is expected in late 2016.

      At Friday’s hearing — the final chance for public oral testimony — local elected leaders and environmental advocates evoked the recent memory of Mosier, where a crude oil bearing train derailed and caught fire on June 3.

      Arlene Burns, mayor of Mosier, gave the panel a stark depiction of the aftermath.

      “We’re really still exhausted,” she said. “This is going to be an ongoing, long-term process that we’re going to be dealing with,” Burns said.

      She noted that Mosier’s groundwater had been contaminated by oil during the spill. Drinking water has been declared safe, but concerns remain for the rainy season washing out remaining oil in the ground.

      Peter Cornelison, a Hood River City Council member and field representative for Friends of the Columbia River Gorge, argued the risks of a new terminal — and boosted train traffic — would affect all river communities.

      Proponents of the terminal highlighted economic benefits and stressed a need for United States’ independence in the oil industry. They said the terminal would be held to regulatory safeguards.

      “We believe the evidence has demonstrated that this project is necessary to secure a strong sustainable reliable supply of energy for the citizens of Washington,” Jay P. Derr, an attorney representing Tesoro, said.

      “We ask the council to recognize and remember the benefits the Port of Vancouver provides, and work hard to avoid … hurting those structures and processes that allow the port to provide those benefits to the community,” said David Bartz, a port attorney.

      Most testimony disagreed with the terminal’s backers about the project’s safety and economic value.

      Washington Attorney General’s Office came out last week against the terminal. Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the potential benefits of the project are “dramatically outweighed by the potential risks and costs of a spill.”

      The cities of Vancouver and Spokane also voiced opposition, a sentiment expressed in recent months by letters and resolutions by tribes, advocacy groups and governments throughout the region.

      Lauren Goldberg, staff attorney with Columbia Riverkeeper, said the local group hopes in light of the Mosier derailment, EFSEC will recognize the risk of another fiery oil train wreck in the Columbia Gorge.

      Both sides in the issue will now file closing written briefs, ending testimony. EFSEC is expected to issue a decision in late 2016. From there, Inslee will make a decision that can be appealed in state supreme court.