The Benicia Herald published a separate section today, “The Year 2014 In Review.” Counting down dramatically from #14, the #1 story of the year was “Opponents, supporters of Crude-by-Rail Plan square off as city leaders mull decision.” Subtitle: “For second straight year, Valero Refinery’s permit request dominates Benicia news.”
Editor Marc Ethier will not be publishing the special section online. When asked, he indicated it would only be for print subscribers.
The article bends over backwards to present a balanced view of the controversy, giving Valero’s perspective and naming our local organized opposition, Benicians For a Safe and Healthy Community and other groups and government entities that were critical of the project and/or it’s environmental review.
It’s appropriate that our local paper recognized the controversy as the City’s #1 story last year. Benicia finds itself in the crosshairs of a growing nationwide debate, and Valero’s dangerous and toxic proposal would, if approved, affect communities all up and down the rails.
The Benicia Herald’s #6 story of 2014 was “Mayor, city attorney in free speech flap.” For more on this, see our Local Media page.