Friday, March 21, 2008

Refinery Upgrades Face Strong Opposition

Any time you show up to appear at a Planning Commission hearing and you see that they've erected at tent outside to handle the anticipated crowds, you know you're going to have a bad day. Such was the fate of three Chevron executives yesterday when they made their pitch for an expansion to the Chevron refinery in Richmond.

At issue are significant proposed upgrades to the century old refinery that will allow it to refine more crude of lesser quality. Opponents say that pollution from the refinery is bad enough without adding more VOC's and greenhouse gasses from crude heavy with sulphur and other impurties.

Chevron touted its EIR that said increases in greenhouse gasses would be "speculative" but that claim has been spiked by Attorney General Jerry Brown who said the EIR was a joke because it ignored multiple points and relied on fictitious documentes.

Chevron says the 3,000 acre refinery is among the most regulated in the world and that health risks from the proposed expansion are insignificant.

No word on when the Planning Commission will render its decision.

Chevron pleads case to revamp refinery [San Francisco Chronicle]