SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — Over 24,000 people have formally expressed opposition to a plan by Phillips 66 to more than double the number of oil tankers arriving at their Crockett-Rodeo refinery.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) , the lead agency conducting the environmental review of the project, extended their public comment period following a large showing of public concern about the impacts of the project.
Opponents of the project are concerned with the increased risks associated with such a massive surge in the number of oil tankers, endangering the fragile SF Bay ecosystem. This same Phillips 66 refinery was the location of a major spill on September 20, 2016. Investigators still have not determined the cause of the spill, which sent over 100 people to the hospital and forced 120,000 residents of Vallejo to shelter in place.
Many commenters also focused on the likely prospect that Phillips 66 intends to use this added shipping capacity to bring previously inaccessible tar sands oil from the planned Kinder Morgan Transmountain Pipeline project in British Columbia. Oil from this source is dirtier, much worse for the climate, and sinks in water making cleanup of spills nearly impossible.
Environmental organizations issued the following statements:
Alex Ramel, Stand.earth, Extreme Oil Campaign Field Director
“24,000 comments opposing Phillips 66’s plan make the public’s opinion on this project absolutely clear. We don’t want more oil tankers, especially not when they are filled with some of the dirtiest most polluting oil on earth. A thorough study of these impacts should lead BAAQMD to the right conclusion, they should say ‘no’ to tar sands oil and more oil tankers. “
Gary Hughes, Friends of the Earth, Senior California Advocacy Campaigner
“More than doubling the number of oil tankers coming into San Francisco Bay to feed an insatiable oil refinery is the exact opposite of global climate leadership. This dirty energy marine terminal expansion proposal should be a non-starter for the state agencies that are responsible for the implementation of California’s ambitious climate and environmental justice programs.”
Erica Maharg, Managing Attorney, San Francisco Baykeeper
“Baykeeper has grave concerns about the increased threat of oil spills in San Francisco Bay as a result of this project. Phillips 66 still hasn’t taken responsibility for the spill at their facility just last year. Yet they’re proposing more shipments of a more dangerous oil that can seriously harm the Bay’s ecosystem and wildlife. BAAQMD should reject this project because it puts the Bay at greater risk.”
Hollin Kretzmann, Staff Attorney, Center for Biological Diversity
“Doubling the number of ships allowed to carry dangerous crude will increase the risk of a disastrous oil spill in the bay. Instead of doubling down on oil tankers, the air district should reject this ill-conceived permit to pollute and help protect the Bay Area’s air and water.”
Devorah Ancel, Staff Attorney, Sierra Club
“BAAQMD must prioritize the health and safety of Rodeo and Bay Area residents who will shoulder the burden of processing dirty, volatile tar sands crude. Just as other decision makers across the state have said no to the importation of dangerous fossil fuels, BAAQMD must reject a proposal that undermines the state’s ambitious climate change reduction goals and puts our communities and aquatic ecosystems at risk.”
Greg Karras, Senior Scientist, Communities for a Better Environment
“Poisoning native lands in Canada and risking our coast to expand a refinery that already pollutes nearby low-income communities of color when oil companies here are making more fuel than California needs--this is what toxic racism looks like.”
Stand.earth Campaigns Director
San Francisco Baykeeper Managing Attorney
Staff Attorney, Center for Biological Diversity
Staff Attorney, Sierra Club
Detailed Project Scoping Comments published by these organizations are available here: http://bit.ly/2gqrNLR
Stand.earth leads the fight to protect people, our environment, and the climate from destructive logging and extreme oil.
San Francisco Baykeeper uses on-the-water patrols, science, advocacy and the courts to stop San Francisco Bay pollution. For more information, visit us at www.baykeeper.org.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places, public health, and fighting climate change.
Friends of the Earth strives for a more healthy and just world. With offices in Washington, D.C., and Berkeley, CA, and members in all 50 states, we urge policymakers to defend the environment and work towards a healthy environment for all people.
Sierra Club is a national nonprofit organization with 67 chapters and over 635,000 members dedicated to exploring, enjoying, and protecting the wild places of the earth; to practicing and promoting the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; to educating and enlisting humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to using all lawful means to carry out these objectives.
Communities for a Better Environment provides residents in blighted and heavily polluted urban communities in California with organizing skills, leadership training and legal, scientific and technical assistance, so that they can successfully confront threats to their health and well-being.