Category Archives: Rodeo, CA

Please attend the Bay Area Air District meeting this Monday, April 9

Repost from Sunflower Alliance

No Tar Sands in the Bay!  …April 9 meeting of the BAAQMD

Come show your opposition to the expansion of the Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery!

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) is considering Phillips 66’s application for a permit to more than double the number of tankers coming into their marine terminal. 

WHEN
Monday, April 9, 8:30 AM to 12 PM

WHERE
BAAQMD headquarters
375 Beale St.,
San Francisco

RSVP

Since Phillips 66 owns a big tar-sands mining operation in Alberta, we can assume the tankers will be bringing tar sands oil.

First Nations in Canada have been battling the planned tripling of the pipeline that brings tar sands oil from Alberta through their lands to the West Coast, where it can be shipped to refineries in California.

Phillips 66 has denied that expanding the wharf will mean increasing production at the refinery.   However, bringing in the additional amount of oil enabled by the wharf expansion plus the amount currently carried by the pipeline from the P66 sister refinery in Santa Maria equals a 15% increase in capacity.

Expanding production would mean emitting more greenhouse gases and health-harming pollution into neighboring communities.  In addition, increasing the amount of oil coming through the Bay in tankers will increase the risk of  oil spills, like the one at Phillips 66 last September, which sent a plume of toxic air to Vallejo.  But it’s worse — because tar sands crude oil is so heavy and thick it can’t be cleaned up once it’s spilled.  It would just sink to the bottom of the Bay and stay there, contaminating the water, plants, and wildlife.

Now BAAQMD has created an “ad hoc committee” on refineries, which plans to discuss these issues at its next meeting.  Come tell BAAQMD: No tar sands in the Bay!  No new fossil fuel projects!  No Phillips 66 expansion!  And stand with First Nations people in Canada fighting for their land.

WHEN

Monday, April 9, 8:30 AM to 12 PM

WHERE

BAAQMD headquarters
375 Beale St.,
San Francisco

RSVP

Hosted by Idle No More SF Bay and Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty

    Andrés Soto Letter: Benicians Deserve Better

    Repost from the Benicia Herald, Forum Page

    Benicia deserves better

    Andrés Soto

    February 21, 2018, By Andrés Soto

    Benicia is the only Bay Area refinery town that does not have the community protection of an Industrial Safety Ordinance, or ISO.

    In 1999, the city of Richmond and Contra Costa County adopted their interlocking ISOs. The Richmond ordinance mirrors the Contra Costa ISO, and Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Division is responsible for enforcement and reporting.

    Their experience with repeated refinery and associated hydrogen plant polluting events caused the elected leaders to respond to pressure from the disproportionally impacted communities in Richmond, Rodeo and Martinez for greater protection and information about polluting incidents.

    How did Benicia miss out?

    Since the adoption of the ISO, there have continued to be dangerous and deadly incidents at these Bay Area refineries, albeit at reduced rates, due to the ISO. Fortunately, the Richmond/Contra Costa ISO allows for corrective provisions that have improved refinery function and provided impacted communities with timely investigative information.

    Under the ISOs, a 72-hour post incident report is available to the public. Monthly reports, or more frequently if necessary, follow that report and are publicly posted. To date, neither the Benicia City Council nor the people of Benicia have received any official reports on the nearly monthlong Valero flaring disaster this past May.

    Based on the success of the Richmond/Contra Costa ISO, the California legislature adopted some of the process safety management portions of the ISO and made them state law, going into effect in October.

    Unfortunately, the legislature did not adopt all elements of the ISOs. Benicia’s ability to receive information, publish the results of investigations to the public and to require Valero to take corrective action simply does not exist. Can we wait for the legislature to strengthen the state law?

    While Valero and PG&E point the finger at each other over who is at fault for the Valero flaring disaster in May, Benicia remains in the dark. We know Valero was given permits to construct an adequate backup generator system but only one co-generator was built and the permit for the other was allowed to expire after several extensions, probably because of Valero’s bureaucrats in Texas.

    Do we Benicians think we can count on Texas oil men to put our health and safety ahead of their profits? The lesson we learned from the successful battle to stop Valero’s dangerous Crude-By-Rail Project is the company seems to stop at nothing to ensure their profits – even at the expense of Benicians.

    Benicia deserves better!

    Andrés Soto,
    Benicia

      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.