Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Refinery Upgrade Encoutering Opposition

Chevron's plan to upgrade its Richmond refinery is ruffling some community feathers. With the upgrades, the facility will be able to process a wider range of crude oil and pump out 6% more California grade gasoline, albeit at a cost of almost 900,000 extra metric tons of greenhouse gases every year.

The EIR supposedly outlines measures to mitigate the greenhouse gases, and Chevron claims the changes will result in a net emissions decline.

Envirnonmentalists and community members however see this overhaul as an opportuntiy to make even more sweeping environmental upgrades and some have argued that Chevron should be kicking back more of its increased profits to the local community instead of passing higher dividends along to its "wealthy shareholders."

(Imagine that, environmental oppositions and class warfare surrounding an oil refinery... go figure...)
Public hearings are later this week and the project still needs municipal approval, as well as the blessing of the CEC and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.