On February 12th, California Emergency Management Agency posted on its website that the P66 Rodeo refinery released greater than 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide into our air due to an “equipment malfunction.” Residents learned about the release from the Dow Jones Busines News, the Wall Street Journal, and Nasdaq …but nary a word from the refinery or from Contra Costa County Department of Emergency Services.
Both could have issued a health advisory, but did not.
The day before the article was posted, the refineries fenceline monitoring system was taken off-line. Three days after the article was posted, residents were startled by non-stop booms coming from the direction of the refinery. The refinery dismissed the booms as coming from Air Liquid, not P66. The Air Liquid plant provides the hydrogen for the P66 refining process and is completely surrounded by the P66 refinery operations in Rodeo.
One P66 supervisor took the prize for obfuscation when telling a concerned resident that Air Liquid was really a “renter”…
From Benicia down to San Luis Obispo, Californians are pushing back on Crude by Rail. Two huge projects recently appeared in front of planning commissions this month: San Louis Obispo County (Phillips 66) and the City of Bencia (Valero). Both drew record-breaking crowds. One project was defeated (Valero) and the other (Phillips 66) is well on its way to meet the same fate.
In both cases, State Attorney General Kamala Harris took the long view and weighed in against both crude-by-rail projects. At both hearings, hundreds of citizens signed up to speak. And in both cases, citizens from Crockett, Rodeo and Hercules were there “to represent.”
Just to give you a sense of scale of the opposition: At the Phillips 66 hearing in San Luis Obispo County, over 400 people filled out speaker cards. That public hearing went on for two days and will wrap up on February 25th. Although the folks here at C.R.U.D.E. don’t have a crystal ball, we reckon it has a snowball’s chance in Hell of passing as the San Luis Obispo County staff submitted a recommendation to turn it down…as did 26 cities, 20 school districts, 5 county/regional agencies and 2 local congresswomen.
And in Benicia? After 3 days of hearings, that City’s planning commission took the courageous stand to stop the project, over the city staff’s objections.
Here are two articles describing the hearings:
- An overview of the San Luis Obispo Phillips 66 hearing (this Tar Sands project is intricately tied into the expansion project up here in Rodeo) can be read here: Sunflower Alliance
- Click here to read an article in the Huffington Post about Benicia’s decision about Valero’s refinery crude-by-rail project: Huffington Post