Chevron Ordered to Halt Richmond Refinery Expansion

Written by Adrian

Topics: Oil

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It’s difficult for me to express how excited I was when I read several minutes ago that earlier today, a county judge ordered Chevron to halt construction on the expansion of its Richmond oil refinery.

This is a huge step in a long and bitter battle fought between the world’s sixth-largest corporation, and a tough and dedicated coalition – including RAN – of environmental, anti-war, and public health groups.

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When Chevron submitted permit applications in 2005 to “expand” its refinery in Richmond, many of us were already suspicious. After all, this refinery – built over 100 years ago – had a bad history of accidents, including an explosion that sent 1,200 people to the emergency room in 1999. Local activists had been fighting Chevron for years, charging that the refinery was a clear example of environmental injustice: the 69,000 people who live within three miles of the refinery have income levels 43% lower than the Bay Area average, and 43% are Latino and 31% African-American.

Plus, this is the same corporation that sued Nigerian villagers that had the gall to try to hold Chevron accountable for its involvement in killing community protestors in 1998, and that is refusing to acknowledge responsibility for dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic waste into the Ecuadorian Amazon.

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Soon, researchers from Communities for a Better Environment discovered Chevron’s real purpose: the planned “expansion” of their Richmond refinery wouldn’t actual result in increased gasoline production at all. Rather, the goal was to convert the facility to be able to refine heavier, dirtier crude oil (resulting, of course, in more pollution for Richmond).

Where would this heavier, dirtier crude be coming from? Well, I’ll give you a hint: Chevron is planning to invest billions (but won’t admit how much) in two different projects in the Alberta Tar Sands. And Tar Sands oil is – you guessed it – much heavier and dirtier than conventional crude oil.

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So we decided that we weren’t going to take Chevron’s one-two punch (environmental injustice in Richmond and Alberta) sitting down. In March 2008, a coalition of groups, including RAN, shut down the front entrance to Chevron’s Richmond refinery; 24 of them were arrested. And for the last three years – in 2007, 2008, and 2009 – we’ve organized protests at Chevron’s shareholder meeting at their headquarters in San Ramon; this year, seven people blockaded Chevron’s front entrance, while community activists from Richmond, Ecuador, Nigeria, and Burma went inside the shareholder meeting to confront Chevron’s executives, and hold them responsible for the injustices their company had committed in their communities.

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And while taking to the streets, we also attended dozens of regulatory meetings and hearings, in order to stop the plant’s permits from being approved. We demanded that Chevron “cap the crude”: that they accept regulations preventing them from refining heavy, dirty crude. The Richmond planning commission at first agreed with the idea of a “crude cap” – and then mysteriously changed its mind several weeks later. The whole time, Chevron executives steadfastly denied that they planned on refining Tar Sands oil – but also refused to accept a crude cap (which wouldn’t have any effect on their operations if they weren’t planning on refining dirtier oil).

Finally, in July 2008, the permit went to the Richmond City Council. During 12 hours of hearings (which I sat through all 12 hours of), hundreds of community members stayed up until 2 am pleading for Chevron’s permit to be rejected – and Chevron employees, paid by their company to be at the hearings, defended the company and attacked (in one case, physically) the community members opposing the expansion. And in the end, the Richmond City Council voted 5-4 to approve the permit. One particularly awesome city council member then publicly accused Chevron of striking a backroom deal with three of the council’s members – and then stood up, applauded the community protesters, and walked out on the meeting.

But then, Chevron’s luck began to change – proving that while you can buy a city council, you can’t beat the people when they have justice on their side.

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In November 2008, Richmond voters kicked out two pro-Chevron city council members, replacing them with solid progressives. They also passed Measure T, which forces Chevron to pay the city $26 million per year in taxes.

Then, several months later, three environmental groups sued Chevron and the City of Richmond, arguing that the city approved a highly flawed environmental impact report, and that Chevron should be sent back to the drawing board. And the judge saw right through Chevron’s shenanigans, and ruled on June 11 that the environmental impact report was in fact flawed.

But Chevron ignored the court’s ruling – saying that it was going to appeal – and just continued construction work. So the three environmental groups petitioned the judge to issue and injunction forcing Chevron to stop work.

And today, Judge Barbara Zuniga ordered Chevron to stop work on its refinery expansion within 60 days.

This is a huge victory for environmental justice. It’s a huge victory for the coalition of groups – Communities for a Better Environment, West County Toxics Coalition, Asian-Pacific Environmental Network, Amazon Watch, Direct Action to Stop the War, Global Exchange, and RAN, among many others – who have fought for years to halt this expansion.

This fight definitely isn’t over yet. Chevron is going to appeal the ruling. And if they lose the appeal, it still only means that they have to go back to the drawing board on this project; they can still redo the environmental impact report, and re-submit it to the city.

But this time, they’re going to face a city council in which two of Chevron’s cronies have since been voted out of office.

And they’re also going to be facing off against a people’s movement that isn’t going to stop fighting this plan until Chevron stops willfully trampling on the health of poor people of color in Richmond, and starts running a refinery that is clean enough that Chevron’s CEO would be willing to live next door to it.

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CAP THE CRUDE! ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE FOR RICHMOND NOW!

47 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. nick says:

    Great news! i’m sadened and inspired by this post.
    Saddened to see the absolute expansiveness to Chevron’s crimes against communities it operates in and the environment.However I’m so inspired to see that sustained pressure, diverse tactics, and committed communities, and diverse coalitions have brought this refinery expansion to a screeching halt. Great news for Richmond and everyone fighting for climate justice.

  2. Verve says:

    I’m saddened too, but not the same way. Did all those protesters in the pictures walk across town to get to the protest site? If they drove, what did they use to power their cars? Must have been fuel that was refined… from crude oil at a refinery. How odd…

  3. Jennifer says:

    Another world is possible, Verve. Today is a great day to declare independence from oil. That includes both taking personal responsibility for our own oil consumption as well as challenging the corporations that profit from our addiction.

  4. Bobby says:

    This just put over 1000 hard working blue collar construction workers out of work in a tough economy, did anyone think of that?

  5. Adrian says:

    This is an important point, Bobby. 100 workers have been let go so far – but Chevron is employing about 1,000 workers on the project, and says that “more will be let go in the coming weeks.”

    I’d like to point out that it’s not as if a coalition of environmental justice groups waved a magic wand and placed a hold on this project. Rather, this stop order is based on a district judge’s determination that Chevron’s Environmental Impact Report “fails as an informational document,” that “the [Final Environmental Impact Report] project description is unclear and inconsistent as to whether [the] project will or will not enable Chevron to process a heavier crude slate than it is currently processing,” and that the “law is clear that an [Environmental Impact Report] must include an analysis of environmental effects of future expansion.”

    And according to a Binder Research poll in July 2008, Judge Zuniga’s caution is shared by the people of Richmond: the poll found that “73 percent of Richmond voters opposed the approval of the Chevron expansion until the environmental and health impacts of refining heavier crude oil were fully reviewed in a revised Environmental Impact Statement.”

    To me, it is unfortunate that Chevron’s irresponsible insistence on ignoring and subverting the legal regulatory process resulted in these workers being laid off – but that is an issue that you can take up with Chevron, not with us.

    I’m personally strongly in favor of Chevron hiring 1,000 construction workers to provide much-needed upgrades to this 107-year-old refinery, and make it safer for the community – without enabling the refinery to process dirtier crude oil, which would add to the refinery’s already highly toxic burden on the people of Richmond.

  6. ken wills says:

    Chevron,Shell,Exxon Mobile,Uical all these refineries have been providing jobs for the bay area for a hundred years good jobs you could raise a family, buy a house have health care benefits they are running cleaner than ever before maybe we need to work with Chevron instead of trying to off shore all our work!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Adrian says:

    Thanks for your comments, Ken.

    Well, for one, I actually don’t think you can offshore oil refining. Plus, this campaign – as I said to Bobby – isn’t aiming to shut down the Richmond refinery. Rather, it’s about trying to ensure that the refinery retrofit that Chevron is planning actually results in a cleaner refinery – not in a refinery that processes dirtier, heavier crude oil from the Alberta Tar Sands (which, in greenhouse gas emissions terms, is the dirtiest oil on Earth), and thus results in higher emissions for Richmond than refining sweet crude would.

    Chevron is planning on installing pollution controls as part of its retrofit – but it’s also planning on retrofitting the refinery to be able to process dirty crude. The pollution controls that Chevron is planning to install have been available since the 1970′s – it’s a little dubious that Chevron is only planning to install them now as a sweetener to get the city on board with its plan to refine dirtier oil.

    Again, we’re totally on board with a plan to retrofit the refinery that includes modern pollution controls – without the “upgrade” to be able to refine dirtier crude.

    A detailed account of this refinery’s emissions (taken from EPA data) shows that Chevron’s Richmond refinery is among the top 40 emitters of environmental pollutants in California. The EPA also lists the refinery as currently being in “significant noncompliance” with Federal clean air regulations.

    We’re not trying to shut this refinery down. We’re challenging Chevron to do better. And to us, “doing better” doesn’t mean burning Tar Sands oil that will increase emissions, and cause deforestation and climate change on a massive scale.

  8. Kenny says:

    Chevron is planning to install modern pollution controls with these installed and monitored, whats the problem? If necessary Chevron could install more pollution control, which turns into more work!

  9. dj says:

    This refinery has been in Richmond for a very long time, if the people are so concerned they should not have moved so close to Chevron! My grandmother lived RIGHT next door to Shell and lived to be 85, she died of natural causes.

  10. Branto says:

    Kenny, the judge stopped work because Chevron failed to provide evidence that its expansion would reduce pollution. The new equipment Chevron wants to install would allow the facility to process heavier, dirtier crudes (from Canada’s tar sands and elsewhere) that would increase pollution.

  11. bobby says:

    Just because chevron will be processing heavier crude does not necessarily mean that there will be more emissions, there is enough technology out there at this point that I’m sure they could find some sort of way to filter, recycle or dispose of the emissions in a Eco-friendly manner. Chevron gives “$26 million” to the city of Richmond in taxes every year, so I ask you why does the city have so little to show for it? this is extortion at its best. I am sure there are a number of people out there that are benefiting from the kick downs that chevron makes and I can assure you very few of those people are the residents of Richmond’s worse areas. The city of Richmond itself has far greater problems it should be concerning itself with at this time than the pollution coming from the refinery with the most strict emissions laws in the Bay Area. This project was creating jobs in an already very tough economy and I personally think that this whole process could have worked out differently in a way that would keep hard working people with families and mortgages working, while still putting restrictions on Chevron’s emissions output.
    -Bobby S. IW-378

  12. Ben says:

    If my girlfirend loses her job over this I hope those who had a hand in shutting Chevron down can sleep well knowing that they’ve sent hardworking Americans to the unemployment line.

  13. Wart says:

    Yet another example of how RAN and other environmental groups are so far off of what is important. If you are truly concerned then do you research. Certain species of animals (Salmon among them) spawn better the more pollutants there are in the water. Global Warming is not worsened by humans (unless of course you believe everything Al Gore says. Why don’t you people get a real job and stop costing hard working Americans theirs.

  14. mike says:

    hey treehugger,do you know what the union people that are getting laid-off in a bad economy are going to do to you and your asshole friends?

  15. Adrian says:

    I think it’s interesting that some Chevron proponents feel that they need to resort to threats, vulgarity, and insults to make their point.

  16. dj says:

    Adrian, you need too understand, that people are very fearful given the current economy. You would feel threatened if a group of do gooders told you you were not going to have a job or healthcare, and ofcourse no unemployment. No threat of vulgarity intended, but I do hope you are in this position soon!!!

  17. Miguel says:

    Anybody who still insists that “tree-huggers” are the enemy are either paid agents of the Sutton Law Firm that handles Chevron’s p.r. campaigns (under bogus committees, of course), or clearly out of the loop. The “environmentalists” said over and over, they wanted the refinery’s “60 year old equipment” replaced (Forget that it took Chevron 50 years to get around to it resulting in numerous accidents and fires). If one is looking for blame while shedding crocodile tears over the “workers,” one must blame Chevron for refusing to answer the direct questions of the Design Review Board, the Planning Commission, the EIR authors, the City Council members, or the public. I live in Richmond. I was there. Chevron was asked point-blank would you agree not to refine a heavier, dirtier, more polluting form form of crude stock? Dean O’Hair’s one word answer was, “No.” Sure, I drive. When I lived where there was excellent public transportation, I took the subway instead. Wouldn’t it be pleasant to have a chance at a choice? Everybody’s pointing to the bad “economy.” Well, not all corporations are going bankrupt. In fact, a select few have currently made more profit than ever in their history. I suppose that those “workers” the Chevron-huggers eulogize are delighted at spending $4.50 a gallon for gasoline that I think we all know was a complete scam. Chevron poisons us, secretly funds anti-global warming scientists, pushed for the war in Iraq, devastates indigenous communities, buys off my local politicians and, it must be said, plays off some unions against the wishes of the community. If Chevron wasn’t so arrogant, greedy and deceitful, we could have had both health and health benefits. According to Contra Costa Health Services, I am living in an asthma and cancer hotspot. And, for the record, my grandmother smoked and lived to 9o, but my uncle who also smoked got emphysema at forty and suffered terribly for the last twenty years of his life. I’ll guarantee you that Chevron will do everything it can to impede the green economy – repairing bridges, fixing roads, building alternative energy, organic agriculture – that could provide workers with work for decades. But I won’t ever convince a blogger who never saw a corporation they couldn’t love.

  18. redbird says:

    While I agree certain things about your post its quite onesided. Chevron wants to upgrade the refinery for greater reliability and to process crudes that are less expensive aka have a higher sulfur content. The refinery CANNOT process “heavier” crudes because it contains a lube oil plant(motor oil). So relax this is fact.

  19. jane says:

    You can write a long essay on how evil Chevron is, but bottom line is Chevron is THE biggest taxpayer in city, county, and state. “Don’t bite the hands that feed you.” In these very challenging times, City of Richmond needs the money, people need jobs. Now I’m all for protecting the environment for us and the next generation, but people first.

  20. Rainsford says:

    Jane, I understand your worry about losing Chevron’s tax dollars and I think this is a very prevalent concern in the Richmond and greater Bay Area community. However, any distinction between people and the environment is artificial, without the environment to support life there would be no people. Now I don’t mean to sound like a catastrophist, however, we are reaching a very real and frightening point of environmental collapse and so the sooner we transition away from fossil fuels the sooner we can get our society and economy back on track. While there may be some initial financial drawbacks from opposing Chevron, it is an inevitable step in weening our economy of its dependence on oil and the fact is that the longer we wait to make this step the more challenging it will become.

  21. michael says:

    Chevron has made record profits in the last few years – over 20 billion dollars in 2008 – but have the people of Richmond, or elsewhere, benefited? No; instead Richmond is one of the most polluted, dangerous, and impoverished cities in the bay area. If Chevron cared about the people of Richmond, they would put their people work regardless of the status of their refinement expansion project. Perhaps Chevron could put these newly available resources toward constructing cleaner refining processes, or creating jobs by experimenting with alternative sources of energy. But of course they don’t because they don’t care. Instead Chevron layoffs construction workers, hoards its money, and blames environmentalists.

  22. Jessica says:

    So let’s see. Chevron produced an incomplete Environmental Impact Report that Judge Zuniga called, “obscure” as to what grades of crudes Chevron would be refining. The judge then rejects the EIR because it doesn’t include the hydrogen pipeline (which is will be need to remove sulfer from the dirtier crude grades). In addition the EIR does not address nor mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

    Back in May 2009 Chevron dropped two major upgrades to the refinery that were supposed to be part of this project; the power plant and the boilers. In other words, Chevron scaled back thier project leaving in place the infrastructure that will be used to process dirty crude like Tar Sands and Oil Shale. Those would have been major jobs for the union worksers and beneficial to reducing pollution. Let’s also not forget that the building trades helped environmental groups identify what was wrong with the EIR because they were concerned about worker safety. The unions are actually split on the issue.

    The fact that Chevron has not replaced equipment and allowed it to become 30-60 years “vintage” as they say, is an insult to injury. Remember the fire that occurred on Jan 2007? It was caused by a pipe that was supposed to have been replaced 20 years prior! Does Chevron keep up with the best available technology that benefits community and worker health and safety?

    Let us not be manipulated by the strings that big oil pulls. If Chevron had done a complete and transparent process from the beginning with the workers and environmentals, we would not be at this point today. Chevron is laughing all the way to the bank as they pit workers and environmentalist.

  23. Craig Hiler says:

    After over 3 years of permitting efforts, and now millions of dollars spent, the anti business, anti capitalists have won. I don’t understand the big deal over what kind of crude the refinery feeds. It still has to abide by the strictest emission standards in the country. No where else in the country would a business have to go through the time and cost consuming effort to renew old equipment in a business that has provided so many high paying jobs and provided direct consumer support for local businesses. Now some are crying for Chevron to continue paying for the jobs lost and pay the money extorted by the city (approx $4 mm) to allow the project to go forward in the first place. Unbelieveable. I suspect, since this refinery is such a small piece of the large corporation, it will see Richmond as too hostile towards business and pull out. Many thousands of jobs and businesses will be adversely affected by the closure, Richmond will be an even poorer community, and once again Chevron will be blamed by you same people.

  24. dj says:

    Some of these people responding here are attorneys for the environmentalist, they think they are protecting the people, they drive gas powered cars, drink from plastic bottles and all the other stuff thats soooo bad for our environment, they are looking to blame Chevron now and will move on to some other cause when this is settled. Mean while the average hard working people are the ones that suffer, when Chevron has had enough and pulls out of Richmond, they will be blamed for taking all the jobs away from and already poor city!! It’s a no win for Chevron. Dammed if you do Dammed if you don’t!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. The right wingers continue to cut their own throat. The truth is oil and it’s products are toxic. Jobs that come form it’s production feed toxicity. Let Chevron move to another planet where it can pollute to it’s heart content. What good is a job that kills. If they leave, we will have our Bay back and can clean it up and once again fish and swim here and make our own living on our earth. Cars only serve to get workers to their workplace ever faster and faster. It’s all an abstract gimmick to get the common people to serve their profit objectives while paying the price with their and their grandchildren’s health. When Corporations like Chevron cry foul they threaten to withdraw “their” jobs and then the commoners are supposed to freak out. We rule this country and we want clean technologies and a clean world in which to live. If we don’t demand it they have control and can dictate to us the world in which we live. Apparently some here don’t care to stand up for everyone else and a decent world, they just want their cheap-ass job so they can buy a car, a tv and a cell phone and be a zombie for mindless consumerism. Pitiful.

  26. kkjj says:

    Come back to the real world sandy, do you drive,watch tv, use a microwave, drink from plastic bottles! I am sure your kind do NOTHING to harm the environment. As for these workers cheap-ass jobs as you call them, I am sure yours is of great importance!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP ATTACKING THE WORKERS!

  27. Wart says:

    Some of us don’t believe the greenhouse gas hype that the liberal media and politicians continue to tout as truth. You lost points on your argument there. I do agree that Oil and it’s by-products are bad, but what are the alternatives? Electric? That requires coal burning if we are not to disturb the fish spawning. Not to mention what it actually takes to make Lithium Ion batteries. Lithium Ion pollutants travel the world twice to make the batteries that we are all so fond of and have to be replaced every 5-8 years. Every option requires a little give, but every time we start down the alternate path there is something wrong with it. Let them continue to use oil and expand their plants. There is only so much crude, and the fact that they are turning away from standard sources only enforces that. Soon they will have to level the plants and let it go back to nature anyways…

  28. greg says:

    “Well, for one, I actually don’t think you can offshore oil refining”, Um, it’s called pipelines & oil tankers. If they refine oil outside the U.S.A. how much more do you think it’s going to cost us to run our cars w/ gas or deisel & lube oil, drink from our hydrocarbon based plastic bottles, use electrodes & batteries that are made from oil coking dust? refineries are part of a business. If it costs too much to run a business, that business will shut down. How many of you even bothered to show up for economics?

  29. greg says:

    All of the videos that show the dumping of toxic waste in Ecuador are by the state run oil agency. The videos are taken years after Texaco left. Why don’t you people research this instead of continuing internet urban legends?

  30. greg says:

    Once again, refineries are part of a business. How many of you tree huggers work in the real world? How many of you work somewhere that replaces equipment that still works. Which businesses replace or upgrade equipment as soon as a new version or model comes out? Real businesses replace equipment when it can’t be fixed. How many of your eco-nuts replace your car every year? How about your fidge or your oven? Or how about your tv or your monitor? Every one of your tree huggers that are on the internet are using hydrocarbon based products in your computer housing, keyboard, monitor, shoes, bicycle, car, BART/ light rail, and if your not wearing 100% cotton or hemp then your clothes also started out in an oil refinery (rayon, nylon, synthetic fabrics are hydrocarbon oil based).

  31. greg says:

    For the person (sandy sanders) who wants Chevron (& all of the refiners) to move to another planet, who is going to clean up the bay or the bay area? You? Who’s going to build the bridges & roads (asphalt comes form hydrocarbon oil)? You? Are you going to pay for all of this work? Is “the govt” going to pay for it? Where are they going to get the money to do what you want done? Your paycheck won’t cover the costs, so you’d better get at least 2 full time jobs to do your part…and you’d better start making the “clean technologies” that you want everyone to use. Since you want to live with out “consumerism”. You’d better start making everything that you use on a daily basis. No more going to the grocery store. You can make your own pots & pans and you can build your own firepit to cook. You can shape your own utensils to cook and eat with. I hope you can sew fabrics so that you can wear clothes. You can also fashion a mattress so that you can sleep. You shouldn’t have to ask for help building a mud hut or dragging stones for a wall, or fashioning an axe to fell logs for your log cabin.
    Good luck.

  32. Robyn says:

    All I know is Chevron has been where it’s at for over a hundred years, when these so called low income families moved in the danger zone what in the hell did they think was going to happen, I guess they can blame Chevron for there stupidity. If your that concerned about the health of your family then you don’t move next to a oil refinery. And on a quick note to the person that said there cheap ass jobs you really need a reality check my husband and both sons had good jobs working for chevron and now because of idiots like you are unemployed in a already screwed up economy. I hope that these tree huggeres are real happy with them selfs, and I cant help wonder how people like that can sleep at night.

  33. Rene Mendoza says:

    THIS IS A HORRIBLE OUTCOME. Richmond needs the jobs, the county needs the taxes, and the country needs the gas.

    Why doesn’t the activist community stop HURTING everyone and let this new modernization go forward?

    Now that CBE has closed the refinery – how do I comfort the families of the 150 union electrians who have no paychecks. CBE’s action to block a badly needed and “clean” upgrade of this facility is SO misguided. When folks in Richmond go hungry and are denied services in the face of this recession, I for one will let them know that CBE is a huge contributing factor.

    Don’t be glib RON – be ashamed.

  34. ANDREW PARK says:

    I agree with the environmental aspects of this job, but it has forced myself to lose my house, go on unemployment, not spend money in this horrible economy. I had to pull my daughter out of her private school and relocate. My job loss wil probably cost the State over $ 700,000, and I’m only 1 of 1500 who lost there jobs, and some much more than just there job. My friend/co-worker lost his opportunity to buy his first house. This chevron refinery is one of the safest construction sights I’ve ever worked at. This is going to cost the city, county and State of California at least $ 300,000,000 directley and indirectly… there goes the State budjet cuts again ! What a victory, huh?

  35. David says:

    Responsible action on the part of Shell could have averted this cacastrophe. Investing record high mult-billion dollar profits in community environmental monitoring, healthcare and disease prevention could have shown a spirit of stewardship for the community. I can’t comprehend why people attack community and environmental activists for standing up for people and our home planet ? Are people really so shortsighted that they don’t understand that the installation of pollution control systems and monitoring them requre job creation ? Shouldn’t doctors and healthcare workers be rioting because fewer children. elderly and others in the community will be sick and/or dying ? If Royal Dutch Petroleum were an ethical company they would be creating jobs by improving their plants and the communities in which they are located. It’s too bad that the law. by requiring corporations to maximize profits, works against this. Posted by a union worker (As if !- I worked for five weeks in March and April) with a brand new $132 T.W.I.C. card. If Shell were honest, we’d be working – for a healthier economy and environment. Why demonize those who are trying to keep them honest ? Do you really value your own integrity (and health, for that matter ) so cheap ?

  36. David says:

    Pardon me. Months of unemployment stress and the anxiety produced by a dwindling unemployment claim have reduced my brain to mush. Please substitute ”Chevron” for ”Shell/R.D.P.” in the prior post. While my point remains the same regarding the clash between corporate versus community and environmental concerns, I realize that this is also a very specific matterregarding Chevron, local politicians and the Richmond community.

  37. denise says:

    Well it looks like this issue is staring to die down, therefore the work should resume soon! It seems like environmental groups just like stir s–t up!

  38. Josh says:

    We are not addicted to oil. We are dependent on it as the only source of fuel that we can currently use to power our society. If we desire to return to the level of pollution we had during the middle ages,we would have to return to that standard of living.
    We can develop cleaner fuels, but it takes time, and resources. It is better to continue modernizing what we have, while pursuing other energy sources, than it is to destroy our current energy infrastructure, and leave only the wealthy few with anything resembling our current standard of living (because it’s nothing more than a pipe dream to say that the rich would actually cut back as well)

  39. Jesus Garcia says:

    I want my job back soon. i worked at chevron now I have nothing very soon I am going to say good bye to my house too I’dont have money for the mortgage

  40. Dan says:

    Hi,

    I was just reading the comments to this post and I thought I’d offer a few thoughts.

    It seems like there are quite a few people that are upset that the invalidation of the environmental impact report will postpone refinery upgrades and lead to the loss of many union jobs. This is absolutely true and something worth being upset about.

    However, it is completely unfair to pin the blame for the loss of jobs on the environmental groups that had the report set aside. It is not RAN’s fault that Chevron had a bad EIR prepared. It is not RAN’s fault that Chevron failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act.

    You guys should be upset with Chevron for having a poor EIR prepared, not with RAN for having the audacity to point out that they did something illegal.

  41. Kelli says:

    Hi
    I am a currently work at a Chevron Refinery. I just want to say a few things. These Refineries our heavily watched for environmental laws. Yes there are loop hole in the laws, but is that the Refineries fault. This country needs to produce something. Or do you want all the jobs to go over seas. Chevron has not only provided a great job market for the U.S, but it has helped maintain and improve its local cities. They have built schools, improved roads, improved the local economy for businesses surrounding the refinery. Do you think Jo blow would be able to provide for his family if the big bad refineries weren’t around. Do you know how many 1,000 of people purchase something in these towns a day to help the citites economy.

    As for what happened in other parts of the world, we don’t know the whole truth. You just want to blam it on the BIG Oil Company. Maybe over there they are behind on safty , so it is going to take a lot long to get them up to speed.

    As far as the sand, why not? Should we let it just go to waste? If it is there why not try to do something with it.

    Yes, they should have put together a better plan for Richmond. But, don’t hate the industry. It has done good for this country. We all drive cars, ride trains, take a bus. I am a third generation in this industry. My father worked for Chevron for 40 yrs. He was able to retire a multi millionaire, with health beifits. Grandfather who had no education retired also a multi millionaire , due to their stock sharing program. Chevron has been a part of my family for years. They have supplied us with a roof over our heads, food on the table, and love in our hearts. I am a proud supporter of the Oil Industry and CHEVRON!

  42. Andy says:

    The protesters should look into the products it takes to make their signs, tents and all the other products they use for protestin on a given day. Look at what polution China creates on any given day the next time you by a “Made in China” product (Thank you Bill Clinton) So don’t cut off your nose spite you face.

  43. Chris says:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/columns/ci_14223496?nclick_check=1

    Are you still excited?

    With the much-needed projects being halted, Chevron may close the refinery altogether and send thousands more to the unemployment line.

    The project, in no way, allowed the refinery to refine heavier crude. During the permit process, independent third party experts verified this. Chevron wanted to replace their old hydrogen plant with a new, modern one. They wanted to replace an old power plant with a new, modern one. It wasn’t expansion at all.

    You shouldn’t think the refinery land will be taken by eminent domain (as a certain councilman believes). The refinery would close, but (according to the article) Chevron would still operate their tanks and turn it into a terminal… basically a place that imports already-refined gasoline from somewhere else (India, China?). You need only a few hundred (compared to a few thousand) employees to do this.

    Way to go environmentalists. You’ll shut down this refinery, send jobs overseas and to a refinery that operates under very few environmental regulations. You likely did more harm than good… in terms of the economy *and* the environment.

  44. Jim says:

    Do you guys drive cars? Where are you going to get your gasoline from if you shut down all the refineries. Crude oil is vanishing. Heavy, dirtier crudes will have to be refined. Would you rather ship gasoline in from Pascagoula and New Orleans. That is costly and risky. The other option is truck it in from LA. How many trucks will it take to feed the Bay Area. Wow – that is even worse. More trucks on the road, costly, dangerous and adding that many trucks would add alot of pollution to the air. This is not a victory. This is a step backwards. We need to push large oil companies to spend money buying new eqiupment to produce more gasoline and keep the air clean. You guys sound like a bunch of self-centered babies that ignore the facts.

  45. Tauni says:

    THE REAL STORY! RAN shutdown a Hydrogen plant. The plant has nothing to do with processing Heavy Crude Oils like RAN claims. A Hydrogen Plant produces hydrogen (go figure – da!) Hydrogen is needed to run the refinery. Hydrogen is used to run the furnaces that produce the 2000+ crude products that we use. If you drive, eat food, use cosmetics, etc, you need a refinery. Let’s do it smart and do it safe. Shutting down a upgrade on a Hydrogen plant is foolish. Yes, foolish. RAN is spending it’s efforts foolishly. RAN needs to refocus and spend it’s effort on pushing Chevron and oil companies to build safe and smart. An upgrade to a Hydrogen plant is safer, smarter and more environmentally friendly. RAN you are foolish on this one. I respect RAN and the need to push companies to be environmentally friendly, but wisely.

  46. Andy says:

    Instead of trying to close down chevron why dont they try to make it better. The environmentalist could work with chevron lets go green try to create jobs not end jobs. Im sure all the protestors rode there bikes to go protest. Protestors back up what you believe in dont drive youre cars start there.

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