P66 bails on 3 Pismo Beach City Council-sponsored presentation & discussion meetings regarding the P66 expansion project. The City Council decides to go ahead anyway.



By Information Press (a news outlet in San Luis Obispo County)  September 2016



Rail industry wants to cut brake inspections by half

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, September 19, 2016

Posted by Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineer and Trainmentrains-and-tanks


The Association of American Railroads (AAR) petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for a waiver that would allow freight trains to travel up to 2,600 miles between mandatory air brake inspections instead of the current industry standard of 1,500 miles.

San Luis Obispo Hearing on Phillips 66 oil-by-rail plan continues to April

hearing room

By Cynthia Lambert, San Luis Obispo Tribune (March 11, 2016)

On March 11, after listening to more than 400 public speakers over four days on the controversial proposal, the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission began deliberating  on Phillips 66 Co.’s plan to upgrade its refinery to receive Tar Sands crude oil by rail.  The ultimate destination after first minimally processing it in SLO County?  Rodeo.

But Planning Commissioner Jim Irving said Phillips 66 may not get a final decision on its project for five years because it may face challenges over both state and federal laws. “This is going to go from us to (county) supervisors, to the Coastal Commission, to the Supreme Court.”
Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article65463482.html#storylink=cpy

Why are we always the last to know?

news clip artOn 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”…



Californians Push Back !

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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:

  1. 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
  2. Click here to read an article in the Huffington Post about Benicia’s decision about Valero’s refinery crude-by-rail project:  Huffington Post

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Portland, Oregon, just passed the strongest resolution against fossil fuels in the country

by Natasha Geiling (Climate Progress)


Iportland cities leadn the strongest city-supported opposition to fossil fuels in the country, the Portland Oregon city council voted last week to pass a resolution that opposes any new infrastructure that would transport or store fossil fuels within the city or its adjacent waterways.  While Portland can’t unilaterally ban fossil fuels from being shipped via rail, road, or water, While Portland cannot, due to interstate commerce laws, it can enact local laws that limit the transportation and storage of fossil fuels within the city itself, making it prohibitively expensive, or too time consuming, for fossil fuel companies.

Portland’s 350.org activist Andriana Voss-Andre observed:

“We seem to be reaching some sort of tipping point where people are waking up and realizing the enormity of the issue,”

She added, “That we got a unanimous vote was jaw-dropping.  It was an inspiring moment for all of us.”

Read the full story here.

portland vote

Canadian Prime Minister’s directive: End oil tanker transit off of Canada’s West coast

By Mychaylo Prystupa (National Observer)

nothern gateway

The fossil fuel industry is clearly at a tipping point.   We are on the eve of the Paris Climate Talks.  One week ago President Obama killed the Keystone XL pipeline. Yesterday, Prime Minister Trudeau killed the Enbridge pipeline and set forth a plan to end subsidies for big oil.


Could this is the beginning of the end for the dirtiest crude oil on Earth?

Read full story here.