NEW!    Twenty groups expose impacts of the oil industry's preferred 

                       biofuel technology in comment on draft project reviews. 


Oil companies are moving to repurpose stranded crude refining assets for a particular type of biofuel. This biofuel is uniquely prone to cause increased carbon emissions, deforestation, explosion hazards for refinery workers, and acute exposures to flare emissions in Black, Brown and low-income communities near their new bio-refineries. But these potential impacts are not disclosed in draft environmental reviews for the largest of these projects proposed to date. 


Throwing [bio]fuel on the fire  

It was supposed to replace petroleum.  It didn't.  California's total distillate fuel emissions increased.   READ THE DATA BRIEF

Oil refiners say air pollution control wastes too much water.  Their refineries waste up to 50 times more.  And can recycle. 


Community, climate, environment and labor groups call for Just Transition action in northern California's oil refining belt. 

Biofuels: Burning food?

When two of the five refiners in its region presented their plans to process biofuels instead of crude oil to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the District asked about fuel chain impacts associated with the new biofuel feedstock.  Good Question.  READ FACT SHEET

Union Local Calls for Just Transition Policy in the Oil Fields.


An August 5, 2020 letter to California officials from United Steelworkers Local 675 asserts that oil companies should pay for plugging their abandoned wells, and this work should accelerate now to create jobs, protect communities, and "advance a just transition away from fossil fuels."


Based in the LA area, United Steelworkers (USW) 675 represents oil production workers and is the state's major refinery operator workers union local.  Asked about refining, Charlie Sandoval of USW 675 said "we need to plan something yesterday for refinery workers' transition. The only way that we can guarantee that is for community and labor to get together on a real plan."  The new call for action in the oil fields advances part of such a serious plan.  READ LETTER

103 Groups tell California's Governor Newsom to start reducing refinery production now.  VIEW LETTER


Decommissioning California Refineries


Climate and Health Paths

in an Oil State

A Report by Greg Karras, G. Karras Consulting

prepared for Communities for a Better Environment

release date: July 6, 2020


We need to talk about how we are going to break free from our toxic relationship with oil before it takes us over a cliff.

Put formally, the scientific consensus that petroleum use must be cut rapidly to stabilize our climate at 1.5–2ºC above pre-industrial levels and proven alternatives to oil we have now beg a question.  What could reverse the political inertia that has stalled action to replace oil with sustainable alternatives?  This is now the urgent question upon which the continued existence of human societies as we know them may depend.  Yet little formal attention has so far been paid to the site-specific conditions that affect societal capacity to escape oil dependence in time.

The research reported in Decommissioning California Refineries, done for the environmental justice group Communities for a Better Environment, reveals specific answers to the parts of this urgent question framed by communities in the dominant oil refining state on the U.S. West Coast: What is the least-impact, most socially just, most feasible path to climate and health protection in California?

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