Repost from SFGate
Valero drops plan to buy Martinez petroleum terminal after state challengeAssociated Press, September 18, 2017, 9:40 pm
The Valero petroleum company abandoned its plans to acquire the last independently owned petroleum terminal in the Bay Area on Monday after California’s attorney general challenged the purchase.
The Valero Energy Corp. said in a statement that it had canceled its deal to buy the Plains All American Pipeline facility in Martinez because the company did not have the stomach for a long court battle.
The decision means the petroleum storage and distribution terminal in Martinez will remain independent.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who filed an injunction in July blocking the transaction, said Valero’s decision was “welcome news for all Californians.”
“It should send a strong message to the public: The California Department of Justice is committed to protecting consumers and competition,” said Becerra, who was determined to keep the last of three Northern California petroleum-shipping hubs out of the hands of refineries.
It was important, he said, because if petroleum companies were in control of gasoline distribution in Northern California, they would be able to raise California’s gas prices almost at will.
“It’s our responsibility to combat threats to our state’s thriving and competitive marketplace,” Becerra said. “Simply put, we strongly believed that Valero’s action could have suffocated open competition and led to higher gas prices for hardworking Californians.”
It was the latest setback for Valero, which was prevented last year from bringing trains filled with crude oil into its Benicia refinery after critics raised fears of a catastrophe like the one in 2013 when a 72-car train derailed in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic and exploded, killing more than 40 people.